Illegal dumping occurs when a person disposes any type of material in a public or private area that is not allocated for disposal. Littering is considered illegal dumping, as is the case with disposing of hazardous waste. A neighbor who dumps on your property without your permission is engaging in an illegal act. All states have local and state laws that make it illegal to dump in undesignated areas. However, states have different laws and enforcement measures to deal with illegal dumping. Consult with law enforcement officers when you encounter illegal dumping on your property or in public places.
State and local laws indicate that the dumping of rubbish and other waste material on someone's property without her permission can be classified as a Class C misdemeanor for the first time and a Class A misdemeanor for the next offense. In Illinois, for example, this type of dumping will be classified as a felony if committed for the third time. Both state and local laws have a focus on abatement -- that is, to give the dumper a chance to clear up the waste before he can incur any penalties.
Illegal dumping laws allow the local enforcement officers to handle cases of illegal dumping in your city or county. These include state and municipal police officers, sheriffs, patrolmen and housing authority police. If you have sufficient evidence, such as video tapes, you can file a case against a person who is illegally dumping on your property. According to the charges brought forward, the case may be handled by a municipal court (misdemeanors) or a state circuit court for larger dumping violations (felonies).
States have different penalties against illegal dumping, but generally penalties include payment of fines, cleaning up of the property or community service. Dumping of hazardous waste such medical or radiation material can incur much harsher penalties, including a jail term. The court will determine what penalty is suitable according to illegal dumping laws in your locality.
There is no legal obligation to report illegal dumping. But victims of illegal dumping are encouraged to report these activities to local authorities such as the municipal council, or local law enforcement agencies. When reporting, certain information is required to pursue the case. This includes the location of your residential area, your name, the number of people involved in dumping and the type of dumping activity taking place.