Real Trash Talk: Illegal Dumping in Dallas
Illegal dumping is a frequent complaint in the City of Dallas. Residents can help clean up Dallas neighborhoods by reporting illegal dumping to 311 or 911 if the illegal dumping is in progress. Get involved in the RealTrashTalk campaign by using the hashtag #RealTrashTalk on social media and sharing the message. Campaign materials are available for the public to download and share in the box below.
A recent addition to the Real Trash Talk campaign is raising awareness about bandit signs in the City. Bandit signs are often seen posted along roadways, in medians, nailed to utility poles, and usually advertise services such as home remodeling services, tax preparation or other forms of enterprise. Bandit signs are litter, obstruct the right of way and placing them in Dallas can lead to fines. Neighborhoods are being used as billboards and residents are paying for it. Approximately $65,000 of City of Dallas tax payer money was spent picking up and disposing of bandit signs last fiscal year.
Common Illegal Dumping Violations in Dallas:
- Construction and demolition waste
- Hauling trash for profit and dumping it in unauthorized locations
- Chemicals and other hazardous waste
- Dumping household trash, construction debris and/or yard waste in unauthorized locations
- Letting someone dump waste on your property for residential bulk and brush collection if that waste was not generated from your property
- Pouring motor oil or restaurant grease into storm drains or down manholes
City of Dallas officials have placed more than 50 cameras in chronic illegal dumping sites throughout the City to catch those breaking the law. The Dallas City Marshal’s Office actively conducts patrol and covert surveillance by utilizing a variety of surveillance systems in the more than 60 identified chronic dumping locations.
Crime Stoppers will award up to $1,500 to citizens for anonymous tips that lead to an arrest for illegal dumping. Citizens with suspect information regarding an illegal dumping offense that has already occurred are encouraged to call 1-877-373-TIPS (8477). Do not attempt to stop the illegal dumping if you observe it happening, call 911 immediately, however if you can safely do so, take note of the vehicle description, license plate and suspect description to assist the authorities.
The Cost of Illegal Dumping:
- Can destroy the land, including degrading plant and animal habitats
- Can destroy surrounding environment
- Runoff from dump sites may contaminate soil and water sources, such as lakes, creeks and drinking water supplies
- Dumped items can alter the normal drainage course of runoff and make areas more susceptible to flooding and erosion when waste blocks creeks, stormwater drains and gutters
- Dump sites attract further dumping and other criminal activities, such as graffiti and arson, which decrease community pride and further exacerbate the problem
- Dump sites attract rodents, insects and other vermin that pose health risks
- Dump sites with scrap tires provide an ideal breeding ground for mosquitos, which leads to the spread of illnesses like West Nile Virus and Dengue Fever
- Reduces aesthetics of the land, creates blight and deters people from visiting areas where there is frequent illegal dumping
- Dumped items create physical (protruding nails or sharp edges) and chemical (harmful fluids or dust) hazards for anyone who does visit the site
- The City of Dallas has spent millions of tax payer dollars removing and properly disposing of illegally dumped materials
- The community bears the cost of lower property prices because the area is less attractive to prospective commercial and residential landowners
How to dispose of items properly:
Dallas citizens (with proof of residency, such as a current driver’s license or water bill) may transport materials from their residence in cars, station wagons, pickup trucks or trailers less than fifteen feet in length at no charge to the landfill and transfer stations.
- McCommas Bluff Landfill
5100 Youngblood Road
- Northeast (Fair Oaks) Transfer Station (Wednesday and Saturday only)
7677 Fair Oaks Avenue
- Northwest (Bachman) Transfer Station
9500 Harry Hines Boulevard
- Southwest (Oak Cliff) Transfer Station (Wednesday and Saturday only)
4610 S. Westmoreland Road
Leave heavy trash (furniture, appliances, bulky items or bundled tree limbs) at curbside on designated bulk trash week. This service is not intended for commercial use, only for trash generated from that residence. Forget when collection week is? There’s an app for that now. Download the Sanitation Services app on your smart phone or device to receive collection service reminders and recycling tips.
For more information, including hours of operation, for landfill and transfer stations, click here.
Penalties for illegal dumping:
Penalties under the Texas Litter Abatement Act /Health & Safety Code, Chapter 365 – Litter
- Class C Misdemeanor: 5 lbs. or less, or a volume of 5 gallons or less, fine up to $500
- Class B Misdemeanor: More than 5 lbs. but less than 500 lbs., or a volume of more than 5 gallons but less than 100 cubic feet, fine up to $2,000; Up to 6 months in jail
- Class A Misdemeanor 500 lbs. or more, but less than 1000 lbs., or a volume of 100 cubic feet or more, but less than 200 cubic feet or if disposed for a commercial purpose and weigh more than 5lbs. but less than 200lbs or have a volume of more than 5 gallons but less than 200 cu. feet, fine up to $4,000; and/or up to 1 year in jail
- State Jail Felony: 1,000 lbs. or more, has a volume of 200 cu. feet or more; or dumping for economic purposes and weighing 200 lbs. or more, has a volume of 200 cubic feet or more; or dumping a closed barrel or drum, fine up to $10,000; up to 2 years in jail