Know the Rules: How to Prevent Illegal Dumping

December 1, 2018

By Mario McKellop

One of the biggest problems facing residents of Los Angeles County today is illegal dumping. According to Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, more than 14,000 tons of waste is illegally dumped in the unincorporated communities.

This is a major issue as illegal dumping lowers property values, poses a danger to children, pollutes the environment, provides a breeding ground for disease-carrying vermin, and costs taxpayers millions in annual clean-up. These tips can help residents combat illegal dumping.

Contact Your Waste Hauler for a Bulky Item Pickup

One of the main causes of illegal dumping is ignorance. For instance, some people erroneously believe that irregularly sized items won’t be picked up by their local waste hauler, so they illegally dump their old furniture and appliances in public spaces. But this is not the case. Residents can contact their local waste hauler and make arrangements for curbside collection of various bulky items for a nominal fee.

A bulky item is a item that is no longer wanted or needed.  To properly dispose of a bulky item, residents can call their waste hauler to arrange for a curbside collection of various items.

Recycle Your Tires

One of the most destructive types of illegal dumping is the improper disposal of used tires. In addition to blighting public spaces and providing shelter for disease-spreading pests like mosquitoes, they also release toxic chemicals when on fire. As there are more than 10 million used tires produced in LA County every year, toxic tire fires become a serious issue during fire season.

To protect their communities from this hazard, residents should dispose of their used tires by attending a local free tire recycling event or visiting one of the many facilities that accept used tires for a nominal fee.

Take Your Household Hazardous and Electronic Waste to the Proper Facilities

Similarly, the illegal dumping of household hazardous and electronic waste does more than create unsightly messes in the community. Leaving cleaning supplies, antifreeze, fluorescent light bulbs, motor oil, batteries, computers, cell phones and televisions unattended in public spaces represents a threat to public health and safety. As such, it’s important that those above-listed items be taken to an intake facility or collection event for proper disposal.

Properly Secure Your Waste for Transport

Whether transporting bulky, hazardous or electronic waste to a permanent disposal center or a local collection event, it’s imperative for residents to properly secure their waste. Failing to do so can lead to debris falling onto the streets and becoming a driving hazard. To prevent failing waste during transport, always secure debris in the back of the transport vehicle and use a tarp or other cover.

Get Active in Your Community

In addition to properly disposing of their own trash, residents should take an active role in fighting illegal dumping in their communities. Residents can organize or participate in the clean-up of local bus stops, parking lots and local dumping sites. You can also get your neighbors, coworkers, and friends involved in local cleanups and to let them know that illegal dumping is a crime, punishable by a fine of up $10,000 and up to six months in jail.

Residents should also report any illegal dumping by calling 1-888-8-Dumping (1-888-838-6746), filling out a confidential Illegal Dumping Incident Report or by using The Works app, which is available on Android and Apple.

The news and editorial staffs of KNX 1070 Newsradio had no role in this post's preparation.​​

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