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:

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

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.

Hide details for Public Outreach and EducationPublic Outreach and Education

Any program for the prevention, enforcement, and clean-up of illegal dumping must be supported by a strong local public outreach program. There are a number of agencies and organizations that provide public outreach and education to help eliminate, control, or clean-up illegal dumping or litter. Information on public outreach from these agencies can be found at the following web links:

In addition, MDEQ’s Solid Waste Assistance Grants can in part be used to support and provide public information and outreach. These grants can be used to provide information on local solid waste services and events and to help inform citizens on the penalties for illegal dumping and for litter. These grants can be used to support outreach efforts through printed materials, radio and television, billboards, social media efforts and a variety of other public information outlets.

Local governments should also consider using signage that communicates the message that random dumping or littering is illegal and punishable by law. Signage should be employed at sites commonly used for illegal dumping and litter. The use of “No Dumping” signs can be effective in deterring dumping and creating awareness of local ordinances also.

Trash Free Waters is another program that EPA has initiated to reduce the amount of trash and litter that enters streams and rivers, lakes and bays, beaches and coastlines, and ultimately the world’s oceans. This Agency work includes outreach and education, research, and new program partnerships. They have established web resources that provide guidance on how to keep trash out of our waters.

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