Illegal Dumping: Why You Need a Waste Disposal Program

Posted by Pearson Brock on May 29, 2019

Illegal dumping is a problem that few multifamily residential properties and retail centers talk about or address. Because many people come and go on these properties, outsiders dump trash in the property's waste disposal area. They figure they can get away with it because no one will know if they're a resident or store employee?

This problem needs solving or else the property owners pay more for their dumpster service. Some services charge penalties when the amount of trash exceeds the limits.

What Is Illegal Dumping?

Illegal dumping occurs when someone dumps any waste on a property without the owner's permission. For a multifamily residential property, this may apply to anyone who does not live or work on the property. It can also happen when a resident moves out or simply decides to trash old mattresses, couches or other large items by tossing them into the dumpster.

It's also a problem for retail centers. Usually, the ones who can throw out waste in the shopping center's dumpster are the property's employees and maybe the stores.

Why Is Illegal Dumping a Problem?

Many companies provide at least two bins: recycling and trash. People who illegally dump trash don't pay attention to which bin it is and ignore the rules for proper waste disposal. So, non-recyclable trash that ends up in recycling bins can potentially contaminate the other item, rendering them unable to be recycled. For example, cardboard is typically recyclable. But, if it has grease on it from pizza or a leaky oil container, it's no longer recyclable.

The property may have limited space for waste. Illegal dumping uses up that space leaving apartment residents and shopping center employees with no place to throw away their trash.

A city may have rules for the dumping of large items and electronics waste as well as the recycling of trimmings and grass clippings. Illegally dumped waste doesn’t follow those requirements and the property owners may have to pay penalties.

It can be costly. Some properties pay as much as $2,000 a month to help combat illegal dumping.

How to Help Prevent Illegal Dumping

Some properties have success putting a fence around a well-lit waste disposal area. Take it a step further by hanging a warning sign outside of the dumpster like "No trespassing," "Dumpster under surveillance," or "For employees only."

Better yet, lock the dumpster area. While the lock will keep the trespassers out, it can turn into a hassle. Still, it'll give you greater control of who uses the waste disposal and avoid waste disposal penalties.

Another option is to install video cameras with live remote monitoring. No one is going to stand around and monitor the dumpster all day and night. With the right monitoring service, you can get cameras that can identify individuals who attempt to dump waste. Trained security operators who witness someone trying to illegally dump items can activate an on-site speaker warning to let the individual know he/she is being watched. This often is enough to scare them off your property.

Finally, educate residents, retailers, and employees. Hold a program, post information in an online group, and distribute educational materials to apartments or stores. The key is to educate them on the guidelines for proper waste management and provide tips.

Recycling offers many benefits. However, when litterers illegal dump items, it adds to the already overflowing plate of landfills. That's why it's so important to implement a waste management program for your property.

Protect your outdoor assets with live video monitoring services. To learn about options for apartments and shopping centers, please contact us.

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