Municipal Landfill

Illegal Dumping



What Is Illegal Dumping?

The discarding of any household trash, bulky items, yard trimmings, medical waste, dead animals or hazardous materials in a place that is NOT PERMITTED to dispose of these materials

A misdemeanor under Nevada State Law, punishable by fines and jail time (Nevada Revised Statute 444.630)

“Open Dumping” and “Midnight Hauling”

A careless, dangerous act that jeopardizes the health and safety of people, animals and the environment

An ugly eyesore on the landscape

Who dumps illegally?

Commercial Businesses
Local Residents
Your neighbors?



Why do people do it (Excuses)?

“There is already trash piled up there”
“That’s what everyone else does”
“We had to get rid of this junk”

They do not understand the harm that they are doing to people and the environment
No local trash collection services 
No landfill or transfer station nearby
To avoid paying for bulky items at disposal facilities
The landfill or transfer station is not open



Where does illegal dumping happen?

Remote areas in the desert and mountains
Quarries, gravel pits and mines
Washes and other low lying areas
Public lands, BLM/USFS, state parks
Tribal lands
Your neighborhood?



How can illegal dumping harm people and the environment?

Public Health Hazards:

  • Trash can be physically harmful
  • Sharp metals cause cuts
  • Refrigerators can trap and suffocate children
  • Trash and junk attract scavengers and pests

Public Health Hazards:

  • Diseases (West Nile, Hanta Virus, encephalitis hepatitis)
  • Dead animals attract predators that could be dangerous to humans
  • Hazardous Chemicals can contaminate air, soil and water
  • Odors, illegal dumps stink!
    Illegal dumps catch fire

Environmental Hazards:

  • Materials, like junk cars, batteries, antifreeze and gasoline
  • Liquid wastes (55 gallon drums, solvents, oil) often contain hazardous chemical that can contaminate air, soil and water
  • If it ends up on the ground it could end up in your drinking water!
  • Existing piles of garbage attract more dumping

Did you know?

  • Surface Water – covers 70% of earth’s surface
  • Sea water = 97%, Fresh water = 3%
  • Glaciers & ice sheets = 2% available water
  • Surface and ground water = 1% available water
  • A significant amount of Nevada’s drinking water comes from ground water sources (~ 40%)

What can I do to help?

Put garbage where it belongs:

Trash bags and cans
Transfer station or landfill
Recycling bin
Participate in community clean up activities (ECAID)
Pick up lose trash when you see it

How can illegal dumping harm people and the environment?

Economic Hazards:

  • Businesses do not want to locate in areas that are full of trash
  • Because… customers do not want to go to these places
    …employees do not want to work in these places
    …they may be held responsible for clean up costs
    Property values can decline
  • Do you want to live near a dump? Neither does anyone else
  • Clean up of “Open Dumps” can cost many times more than the price of proper disposal
  • Environmental contamination can cost millions of dollars!

Who enforces the laws?

Local, tribal, county or state law enforcement officials, county or state district attorneys offices and courts


NDOW, NDEP Solid Waste Branch

Illegal Dumping Hotline Numbers:

Elko County: 775-777-7300
State of Nevada: 775-687-9485 or 888-331-NDEP(6337)