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Help Put an End to Illegal Dumping

Throwing away unwanted materials of any kind in any unapproved location is illegal. The laws governing illegal dumping cover disposal of even very small items, like the remains of a fast-food meal, and larger objects such as tires and furniture, as well as truckloads of household garbage and debris from construction sites and land clearing material.

There are penalties for illegal dumping:

  • State law imposes a fine of $219 for dumping anything bigger than one cubic foot.
  • If you are caught dumping with your vehicle it will be confiscated, you will pay a fine and you are also subject to arrest.
  • You can also be sued for clean-up costs and the collection of bigger fines – up to $25,000 per day.
  • Dumping can be punishable under federal law.

What happens when waste is dumped illegally?

It stays exactly where it is dumped until town or state authorities receive a complaint and/or become aware of the problem. 

The consequences hurt everyone:

  • Taxpayers have to pay for the cleanup.
  • People and pets can be exposed to toxic materials.
  • Rodents and insects carry diseases from the wastes into the surrounding community.
  • Water, soil and air can become polluted
  • Neighborhoods become eyesores and unpleasant to live in.
  • Property values fall.

What can you do about dumping and litter?

  • Call your Town or City Hall (usually Public Works Department) for information on how to get rid of garbage and trash in your Town or City.
  • Call DEEP’s Solid Waste Program at 860-424-3366 if you need additional help finding a legal disposal option.
  • Hold on to your trash until you find a legal way to get rid of it.
  • Check to make sure that your contractors are taking your waste to a legal location.
  • Don’t place items on the street unless you know your community has trash pickup. Keep items for pickup in containers.
  • Teach your children that littering is illegal; a clean neighborhood makes everyone healthier and happier.
  • Join or start a community effort to keep your neighborhood litter-free.
  • Report illegal dumping to local police, your town or city hall or the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Report illegal dumping to:

  • Your Local Police Department: If the dumping is ongoing and/or you know who did the dumping, call the local police. If a vehicle is involved, get the license plate number and a description of the vehicle doing the dumping --- vehicles can be seized.
  • DEEP's Emergency Response Unit: Only if the dumping poses an immediate threat to public health or the environment. Reporting Environmental Emergencies
  • Your Town/City Hall: If the dumping has already taken place, call your Town or City Hall to report the incident. Usually, the contact at the Town Hall is your local Health Department or Public Works Department.

Information for Local Police Departments:

June 26, 2015 Workshop on Illegal Dumping - State and Federal enforcement experts provided training to local code enforcement agencies on how to respond to illegal dumping and how the State and Federal USEPA can provide assistance.

Content Last Updated on February 4, 2020