Resources for Mississippi Communities

Illegal Dumping Resources

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Filing an Illegal Dumping Complaint

For persons seeking to file a complaint regarding illegal dumping, illegal dumping can be reported as follows:

Contact your local enforcement agency or local Solid Waste Enforcement Officer for your county or municipality. If an officer is not listed for your county or municipality, we encourage you to contact another local enforcement agency such as your police department, sheriff's department, or local code enforcement office.


You may report your complaint to MDEQ. You may remain anonymous when you file an illegal dumping complaint with MDEQ. MDEQ Contact Number: 601-961-5171.

Remember you will need as much information as possible on the complaint site, including the following:

  • The exact location where the dumping is occuring. (Most important)
  • The responsible party, if known.
  • The types of wastes involved.
  • The problems you have noted or are experiencing.
  • Information on the vehicle involved including the license plate number and description of the vehicle and person(s) involved.
  • The date and time of the incident(s).

There are a variety of important components to a local program for the prevention of illegal dumping. The components include the following:

Show details for Implementation of an Adequate Solid Waste SystemImplementation of an Adequate Solid Waste System

Hide details for Establishing Local Enforcement Programs & PersonnelEstablishing Local Enforcement Programs & Personnel

MDEQ encourages local governments to establish or designate a local solid waste enforcement officer or agency. Numerous local governments throughout the state have designated local enforcement personnel. A listing of these local officers can be found here.

These enforcement officers should have knowledge of state solid waste laws and regulations and of the local solid waste system and local options for waste management. The MDEQ Solid Waste Assistance Grants (SWAG) program can help fund salary support for local solid waste enforcement officers who are employed by local agencies or departments such as local sheriff’s offices, code enforcement offices, public works departments, road departments and other local agencies. The following links are provided to assist local Enforcement Personnel in understanding state laws and regulations and in developing an adequate local prevention and enforcement program:

Hide details for Maintaining an Effective Local ProcessMaintaining an Effective Local Process

Each community should establish and maintain an effective local process that enables citizens to file complaints regarding illegal dumping and other similar solid waste matters and to have those illegal dumping complaints investigated and resolved.

The local government process must include an investigation process that is effective in identifying the responsible party. The responsible party should be contacted and notified with proper recommendations that would resolve the complaint. The process must include procedures for pursuing formal enforcement actions in the local court system when an illegal dumping matter cannot otherwise be resolved.

In order for the local process to investigate and resolve complaints to be effective, MDEQ encourages local governments to consider developing and adopting their own local solid waste management and illegal dumping ordinances.

Importance of Local Ordinances

Local ordinances can be extremely effective when implementing an adequate solid waste system. These ordinances should define acceptable waste management and disposal conditions and also should define what is deemed an illegal dumping violation.

MDEQ promotes the adoption of local illegal dumping ordinances because such ordinances provide counties and municipalities with a local enforcement tool and because they also help set the local standards for community appearance and pride. MDEQ has established a sample local ordinance that communities can use as a model in developing their own local ordinance for addressing illegal dumping.

Hide details for Develop a Local Clean Up ProgramDevelop a Local Clean Up Program

Every local government should have as a part of its illegal dumping prevention and enforcement efforts a companion clean-up program. The first step in any clean-up program is to work to identify the responsible party or parties and hold them accountable, forcing them to clean up their illegal dumpsites, and handle the disposal of the waste material.

Each community should also develop a local process for clean-up of illegal dump sites on public properties and right of ways and on private properties where nuisance conditions exist. When a responsible party cannot be identified or located or when the dumpsite causes problems that require prompt clean up, the local government may need to initiate actions to remove the illegally dumped wastes for disposal. State law sets out a procedure that counties and municipalities should follow in cleaning up private properties. The County procedures are found in Miss. Code Ann. 19-5-105 and the Municipal Procedures in Miss. Code Ann. 21-19-11.

The MDEQ grants program also provides financial support that may be used for illegal dump cleanup and disposal costs and for various other issues dealing with solid waste and disposal. Please see the grants information page for more information.

In addition to grant support, many communities have been able to find support for clean- up of illegal dumping and litter from the local inmate population. The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) provides a litter inmate program that may help with a community clean-up effort. More information on this program can be found at the MDOT web resource page. In addition, there are some communities that have been able to allow local sentencing to include community service efforts that may also allow for persons to serve their time by cleaning up litter or illegal dumping.

Another opportunity to help support clean-up efforts in local communities is to encourage volunteer groups to assist with collecting or cleaning up illegal dumping and/or litter. Keep Mississippi Beautiful and Keep America Beautiful sponsor an annual “Great America Clean Up” event that helps to get citizens and businesses involved in cleaning up the community. In addition, MDOT sponsors an Adopt-A-Highway program along state highway systems whereby businesses and groups can sponsor a highway section and volunteer to keep that highway section clean.

In addition to these programs, MDEQ provides resources for cleanup of illegal waste tire dumps. Local governments may be eligible for waste tire collection and clean up grants in their area. In addition, MDEQ maintains a waste tire abatement program for larger waste tire dumps where the agency can directly clean up a site with its own contractors. For more information visit the MDEQ waste tire page.

Show details for Public Outreach and EducationPublic Outreach and Education

Show details for Air Quality Issues Associated with Illegal DumpingAir Quality Issues Associated with Illegal Dumping