City urges residents to report illegal dumping
It’s one of the most frustrating and frequent complaints received by the city.
It’s illegal dumping: an ongoing challenge for Code Compliance Services’ Nuisance Abatement division, which recently removed half a ton of debris illegally dumped from a south Dallas location after a resident reported the situation at a City Council meeting. The incident was one of more than nearly 5,000 illegal dumping cases reported annually to the City. The cost of cleaning up these illegal dump sites ranges from $300 to $800 each.
“There is a significant cost associated with illegal dumping, in addition to its negative impact on our neighborhoods,” said Director of Code Compliance Kris Sweckard. “If it’s not cleaned up, it only invites more illegal dumping.”
Residents who see illegal dumping in progress should call 911 and if possible provide a description of the violator, vehicle and license number. If the dumping has already occurred, call 311. Community Code District officers will inspect the area and if the violation is confirmed, issue a Notice of Violation to the property owner to remove the illegally dumped materials. If the violation remains, the Nuisance Abatement team will take action and remove the dumped material, possibly placing a lien on the property to help offset the cost incurred by the City. The City is able to take immediate actions to clean locations that have already been subject to dumping within the last year.
To further discourage illegal dumping, the City is considering initiatives used successfully in other municipalities, such as offering cash rewards for citizens who report illegal dumping; revoking violator’s driver’s license; posting violator’s photos online; and working with schools, churches and businesses.
The Community Hand Tool Program provides free use of equipment to citizens who want to clean up their neighborhoods, and residents are encouraged to properly dispose of trash and debris at the McCommas Bluff Landfill and transfer stations.
Legal and criminal aspects and enforcement of state environmental laws are handled by the City Marshal’s Environmental Crimes Unit. Debris is inspected and weighed to determine the penalty and fine.
“Citizen involvement is the key to reducing illegal dumping across our city,” Sweckard said. “We encourage residents to be vigilant, get involved, and report illegal dumping when they see it happening. “These are criminal offenses and affect the quality of life in our city.”