How to Stop Illegal Dumping on Your Property

No one likes trash in their home. But illegal dumpings happen. Here is a guide to preventing illegal dumping on your property.

Not only are there dumpings a headache to homeowners, but they can cost you to clean up and even devalue your property.

That raises the question, how do you prevent illegal dumping on your property? And how can you catch the culprit red-handed?

What is Illegal Dumping?

Before we dive into the methods to solve this issue, let’s first identify what it is. Illegal dumping happens when trash from one location is disposed of in another place without permission. 

Regardless of where, such as dumpsters, alleys, open land, vacant lots, or your own backyard. Furthermore, illegal dumping can include any sort of trash, including but not limited to common trash, appliances, furniture, car parts like tires, etc.

Illegally dumped substances can potentially have more harm than anticipated. People tend to do this to avoid the cost of disposing correctly of said waste.

Hazardous materials can bring health issues to residents and animals in contact with it and create a welcoming environment for pests and animals to multiply.

Moreover, if the material is hazardous, it can seep into the soil and contaminate waterways creating a broader issue. And it can also destroy local fauna.

Littering vs. Dumping

While both are illegal, they are vastly different. Littering includes throwing away waste in small amounts, such as a wrapper, water bottle, or receipt. The littering fine can end up costing you a few hundred bucks or so.

As for dumping, the penalty is way bigger. Keep in mind that it includes items such as mattresses, appliances, furniture, and others.

Illegal dumping can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor depending on the state you live and the following factors:

  • Type of waste (Hazardous/ Non-Hazardous)
  • Amount of waste dumped
  • The person doing the dumping (Individual/ Business)
  • Previous record and offenses

At most, the penalty can start at $1,000 but can quickly make its way up to $25,000. An illegal dumping offense that is repeated can lead to jail time.

Methods to fix and prevent illegal dumping on your property

Below, we will discuss methods you might take to catch who is littering on your property and how to deal with it.

Talk It Out

If you find the person doing this, you first need to remain calm and have a civil conversation. Escalating it will only cause issues for you in the long run.

Keep in mind that it might be a random person or a neighbor you know that can dump all furniture, appliances, or waste on your property. After identifying them, confront them one on one.

You should let them know that they are not allowed to place their trash in front of your home and should remove it immediately. Hopefully, they will leave and take their trash with them. But not all people are lucky.

Install A Camera

If you do not know who did it, but it continues to occur is always good to put up a camera to prevent illegal dumping on your property from going by without repercussions. 

This can catch the people who are illegally dumping trash on your property from doing so. Additionally, this also gives proof to the police and can be used as evidence against the violator.

Furthermore, having a camera can capture much more than just the evidence of the dumping; it can, in fact, serve as an excellent deterrent for various sorts of crimes.

Seeing cameras on the property can make violators think twice before dumping their trash on your lawn and getting caught by the cameras. Thus, they will stray away from your home.

Moreover, if you file a police report, the cameras can be used as evidence and can help you identify the person and charge them with their crimes.

Security cameras

Pay close attention to the camera’s model and choose the one that works right for you. If you are trying to hide your camera, opt for a black one which is harder to spot at night.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, you can also use white, so perps are more likely to see them and back off, which then prevents illegal dumping on your property. This gives the camera contrast and makes it stand out.

Type of Cameras

You can opt for wireless or wired cameras. Since they both have their advantages and disadvantages, it’s essential to find what works great for you, your home, and your budget.

Recording your home’s perimeter can keep robberies from happening and prevent illegal dumping on your property, among various other situations, like someone parking in your driveway or vandalizing your home.

These videos can mean the difference between filing an open-ended claim with the police and having evidence to support what is happened to possibly locate the culprit.

Wireless cameras, for the most part, send you alerts and notifications when movement is detected and allow you to live view from anywhere!

Post Signs

This might not be for everyone. You might not want to display that in front of your house for a number of reasons. But placing a “No Dumping Trash” sign can help the situation.

I recommend this on properties that are on the market to be sold or rented and, therefore, are empty. This can keep people from messing with the house as it shows that the house is being monitored and looked after.

You might also benefit from using a “You are being monitored” sign or something along those lines to show that cameras are placed around the property. These signs are readily available online and can be bought through online retailers like Amazon.

Call In The Big Guns

At this rate, your best bet is to call the police, regardless of whether you have proof and evidence. To do so, dial 311 (if inside the US) to be connected to your local authorities. They can investigate the issue and find out who dumped trash on your property.

If you see someone in the act, call the police immediately. And if possible, attempt to get a look or picture of the person and vehicle they are driving. Managing to get a picture of their license plate can help if they leave before the police arrive.

Depending on the severity of the case, the violator might be fined or put in jail. Remember that illegal dumping is a punishable crime and can sometimes be considered a health hazard.

This is not to be taken lightly; if it happens to you, report it immediately. Though you might consider handling it yourself, you are unaware of what hazards it can have, which might affect your health.

Fence And Gate

The last way to prevent illegal dumping on your property is to simply close off access to your home and backward. This will physically put a barrier between the perimeter of your house and whoever is trying to get inside to dump their trash.

Research the local laws on fencing and gates before installing one. There are specific colors, types, and heights that need to be met in order to have one.

Furthermore, before getting a company to come to install it, check if no permit is needed to do so. You can contact your town’s local police office or the mayor’s office for the information.

Additionally, adding lights in your backyard and front porch can also deter anyone with the wrong idea and make them think twice. 

Though cameras usually can see in the dark using IR lights, you can turn that feature off and instead rely on the floodlights. Cameras like Hikvision have different adjustments to meet users’ needs. Check out the Hikvision LED Floodlight Settings article to find out more.

Illuminating the area means that your camera won’t need to rely on its Infrared lighting and can instead show you colored footage instead of the traditional black and white image.

Final Thoughts

There are ways to stop and prevent illegal dumping on your property. Following the tips above, you might be able to catch the violator and avoid having to pay fees for proper cleaning.

On the plus side, installing a camera can only make your home and environment safer overall. The same goes for installing a gate; they can keep various situations from escalating.