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 a safe and healthy environment.

Illegal Dumping

The Non-Permitted Regulated Compliance unit is responsible for the Illegal Dumping Program within the Environmental Services Department. The Department is a regulatory agency and provides no cleanup or collection services. We investigate citizen's complaints of illegal dumping. Our purpose is to protect the health of the people of Maricopa County through the enforcement of the Maricopa County Environmental Health Code

Our goal is to refer the complaint to a local Agency that has enforcement authority and cleanup capabilities or gain compliance with the property owner. When all other means have been exhausted, legal action may be required.

What is Illegal Dumping?

Illegal dumping is disposing of waste in unauthorized or unpermitted areas. Illegal dumping is commonly found in uninhabited desert areas, open lots, along roadways, in alleys and at construction sites. Most illegal dumping is done to avoid either disposal fees at landfills or the time and effort required for proper disposal.

Items illegally dumped include household garbage, business trash, construction and demolition waste, appliances, tires, furniture, landscape and yard waste, mattresses, waste/used oil, chemicals and medical waste.

The Dangers and Problems with Illegal Dumping

Illegal dumping is a continuous problem throughout the United States and Maricopa County is no exception. Maricopa County is the fourth largest County in the United States by population and the fourteenth largest by size, measuring 132 miles from east to west and 103 miles from north to south.

Serious health risks may be associated with illegal dumping. Many areas used for illegal dumping are easily accessible to children. Children are more susceptible to physical and chemical hazards present at many illegal dumpsites. Illegally dumped debris may also attract rodents, insects and other vermin. Discarded tires provide ideal breeding sites for mosquitoes which have been found in Maricopa County carrying encephalitis. Fires in illegal dumps can attribute to property damage and threaten air quality, depending on the contents of the dumpsite. Illegal dumping in our desert washes and drainage canals can cause flooding during our seasonal rains, when blocked by debris. Additionally, runoff from the dumps containing chemicals may contaminate wells and surface water used as sources of drinking water.

The Cost of Illegal Dumping

A dumpsite is a magnet for additional dumping. If dumpsites are left intact, property values can decrease and the community may become unattractive to future development. Without tax revenues, the funding needed to maintain an effective illegal dumping prevention program would be limited. Ultimately, it is the development of areas susceptible to illegal dumping that eradicates the problem.

Finally, the cost to local government and industry and industry associated with continuous clearing of illegally dumped waste materials is significant. Some Cities and Counties have reported spending several million dollars per year on cleanup, hauling and disposal activities associated with illegal dumpsites. These costs may be passed along to residents in the form of higher service fees or property taxes.

What can be done about illegal dumping in Maricopa County?

Report it!

Identify the exact location of the dumpsite. Identify the closest major cross streets. Try to identify the person or Company that did the illegal dumping. Describe what is in the dumpsite.

**Do not enter or dig through the site**

If the dumpsite is within a City listed below, click on their web page and report it online or contact them by phone.

If the dumpsite is located anywhere else in Maricopa County, click on our link to our Environmental Services Complaint Line and report the dumpsite online. If you would rather report the dumpsite by phone, call (602) 506-6616.

Maricopa County has several household hazardous waste collection sites throughout the valley. Recycling with Maricopa County Solid Waste Management is a drop-off service designed to help residents reduce the amount of waste deposited into local landfills and illegal dump sites. Collect your recyclables at home and drop them off at the recycling facilities where it will be stored and later transferred to a materials recovery facility (MRF).

At the MRF, recyclables are sorted and bailed, then transferred to a reclamation facility where the recyclables begin their transformation into a recycled product. For more information, to find a recycling location, or find any other drop-off location, please visit the following website: http://swm.maricopa.gov/recycling.htm.

To report illegal dumping, please call: 602-506-DUMP