Illegal dumping is a major problem in all of Louisville Metro. It raises significant concerns regarding public health and safety, property values, and quality of life.
The true cost to taxpayers is unknown as illegal dumping costs are spread over a broad range of community health and safety issues not just cleanup and disposal cost.
Cost Associated with Health Risk
Areas used for illegal dumping are usually easily accessible to people, especially children, who are vulnerable to the physical hazards (protruding nails, sharp edges, slip and falls, fires) as well as health hazards from (mosquitoes, fleas, bed bugs, rodent, and other vermin). Healthcare cost directly related to illegal dumping is not tracked
Neighborhood Cost Associated with Illegal Dumping
Areas used for illegal dumping are usually magnets for other illegal activity. People who rummage through dumped materials may be tempted to steal other things such as copper and metal from homes in the area. Property values decrease as the crime rate goes up. Indirect cost associated illegal dumping include higher insurance rates and lower property values.
Who and why do people dump? There are several contributing factors associated with this issue:
- Convenience is the biggest factor. Many people don’t have the time or a vehicle to properly dispose of their waste. These people use “neighborhood dump” sites such as a vacant home or open space.
- Contractors are a significant contributor. Many people who want to dispose of their waste properly will pay the contractor that performed work for them to remove the debris. However some contractors will keep the fee and dump the materials. Always request a “disposal receipt” before paying this fee.
- Landlords are also a contributing factor. While most landlords do the right thing by contracting with a licensed waste hauler when a renter moves out, some will either dump items at the street/alley or pay someone off the street to remove items and never check to make sure it reaches a disposal facility. Landlords should always request a “disposal receipt” from anyone hauling waste from their property.
- Not having the mandatory waste service is also a factor. Louisville Metro requires all residential households, institutional/commercial/ and industrial properties have a disposal service for their weekly disposal needs. Landlords are required to provide disposal service to residential properties.
How can I prevent illegal dumping?
The best way to prevent illegal dumping on your property is to keep it clean. Trash invites additional trash. Always inspect your property boundaries regularly. Remove any debris that may attract more waste as soon as possible.
Increase visibility to secluded areas. Most people like privacy fences or to grow bushes to screen in their yard. While this is nice to have it also makes for hidden spots that illegal dumpers use so they won’t be seen. Install chain link fencing and remove overgrowth. Increase lighting so people can be seen.
Use barriers to prevent illegal dumpers from accessing areas used as a dumping ground. This is one of the most effective methods.
Always use licensed waste haulers and ask for proof of disposal. If your debris is found illegally dumped your will be held responsible.
Take advantage of free options. All residences in Louisville Metro can dispose of three household items such as couches, chairs, tables, etc…as well as four passenger vehicles tires for free at the Louisville Metro Waste Reduction Center.
You can report illegal dumping online to the Louisville Metro Police
Department. You can also submit a service request with MetroCall 311. Choose the problem type "Garbage & Recycling: Illegal Dumping."