Illegal dumping is a serious problem in Montgomery County. Each year, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) investigates more than 450 incidents of illegal dumping and spends over $100,000 for cleanup and enforcement.
Farmers suffer because fields and crops are destroyed, fences are cut, livestock is disturbed, and trash must be removed.
Businesses suffer because extra trash pickups can cost several hundred dollars each. (And those additional expenses are eventually passed on to consumers.)
Entire neighborhoods suffer because trash not only is unsightly but also harbors rats and other vermin. It can lead to a decline in property values and a loss of community self-respect. And trash is a magnet for more trash—once dumping begins, it attracts additional trash.
The environment suffers because toxic pollutants are released into streams, woodlands and wetlands. Illegal dumping and discharges can also harm wildlife.
Illegal dumping can be lethal. Public health and safety can be seriously compromised because needles, glass and other sharp or toxic objects can cause infection or physical injury. Children playing along polluted streams and waterways can be at risk.
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Illegal dumping is a serious offense that can result in criminal prosecution. Every case of illegal dumping is investigated. Illegal dumpers are subject to a minimum $500 civil fine and possible criminal prosecution.
Illegal dumping can be costly, but the costs of legal disposal are minimal (if incurred at all). Montgomery County provides one of the most extensive solid waste disposal and recycling programs in the nation. Take advantage of the many facilities the County offers to properly dispose of or recycle your unwanted materials.