Recycling, composting, and waste prevention are ways to cut trash costs. But some people haven’t gotten the message. They dump their trash illegally on the roadside.

The cumulative impact of illegal dumping can have a devastating impact on fish and other wildlife in the area. Our local creeks have a variety of problems, including storm water runoff containing numerous pollutants, illegal trash dumping, illegal waste water discharges, and riparian habitat destruction.

Illegal trash dumping is a persistent problem that costs money and creates a bad impression for tourists. Unauthorized dumps also can become breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Dumping waste such as discarded trash, oil, appliances, scrap tires, furniture and other items on private or public land and waterways is strictly prohibited by
law. In addition to being unsightly, illegal dumps can pose health and safety hazards to people and wildlife.

Litter isn’t just unsightly, it’s illegal, unhealthy and wasteful. Numerous laws exist to prohibit littering and illegal dumping. Under California law, litter is any trash thrown, discarded or dropped by a person onto public property, private property not owned by the individual, or into our waterways. Trash dumping is a crime that is punishable by a fine of $1000 and in some cases jail.

If you witness illegal dumping, a vehicle license number and description of people involved is needed by law enforcement to make a citation. Law enforcement should be called immediately.
Individuals and community groups that want to clean up illegal dumping can obtain assistance from the Mendocino Solid Waste Management Authority.