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.

-OR-

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.


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

Show details for Public Outreach and EducationPublic Outreach and Education

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

Open burning of illegally dumped solid waste is an issue that presents environmental and public health concerns. Open burning produces significant quantities of dioxins and "dioxin like" compounds. Dioxins are highly toxic chlorinated organic chemicals that can have damaging impacts to public health, wildlife and to the environment. More information is available at on U.S. EPA’s Open Burning web page.

In addition, open burning activities can also have potential economic impacts. The ambient air quality of many Mississippi communities is monitored to confirm that the quality meets federal Ambient Air Quality Standards. When the air quality in a community does not meet those standards, the community can be designated as having “non-attainment air quality” status. When placed into a “non-attainment” status, permitting for sources of air quality emissions and for projects that have potential air quality impacts can be significantly restricted. These restrictions can affect the commercial and industrial development and growth in an area affecting the economy and new job development.

Improperly disposed asbestos containing materials also presents public health concerns at some illegal dump sites. Asbestos fibers may be released into the air by the disturbance of asbestos-containing material that is illegally dumped after demolition work, or repair, and remodeling work at residential or commercial buildings. Exposure may occur when the asbestos-containing material is disturbed or damaged in a manner that releases particles and fibers into the air. More information is available at this following link: MDEQ Asbestos web resources