What is illegal dumping?

Illegal dumping is any unauthorized disposal of waste on any public or private property.

People who engage in illegal dumping often do so to avoid disposal fees or because they believe proper disposal is just inconvenient. However, arranging a bulky-item pick-up is easy; simply call your waste hauler to schedule one. Bulky-item pick up may be included in your existing service, and can help avoid penalties.

Learn more about the Los Angeles County Illegal Dumping Ordinance.

Illegal dumping is a serious problem for the unincorporated communities of LA County.

Effects of illegal dumping:

  • It is a community eyesore 
  • Decreases property value 
  • Deteriorates neighborhoods  
  • Costs taxpayers millions of dollars in clean-up costs 
  • Negatively impacts plants and wildlife 
  • Poses safety hazards to people, especially children 
  • Provides a breeding ground for disease carrying rodents, insects, and other vermin 
  • Disrupts natural land and water processes and increases flood hazards  
  • Pollutes surface and ground water

What is the penalty for illegal dumping?

California Penal Code 374.3 makes illegal dumping on public and private property punishable by a fine up to $10,000. Also, pursuant to Section 117555 of the California health and Safety Code, a person who dumps illegally is punishable by up to six months on jail.

In addition in August 2005, the County of Los Angeles adopted an ordinance that would allow the Sheriff to seize a vehicle if it is used in the act of illegal dumping. The County is also considering a trash responsibility ordinance that would require all residents in the unincorporated areas of the Antelope Valley to subscribe to trash collection services.

Request a Cleanup in LA County Unincorporated

To follow up on the status of your collection request, call 1-(888) CleanLA or 1 (888)253-2652 and provide the case number. Please allow 2 business days before following up on the status. Your patience is appreciated.

Illicit Discharge

To report illicit discharge, in Los Angeles County:

Have an RV? Find a site for the safe disposal of RV sewage in Los Angeles County.

RV in urban setting appears to have illegal discharge nearby.

Abandoned Shopping Carts

If you see an abandoned shopping cart, you may report it to the RMS at (818) 817-6366 Monday – Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. or after hours by calling (888) 992-4778, or online.

Additionally, for shopping carts in use by people experiencing homelessness, please contact the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority at (213) 683-3333 or request for outreach services.

Mattress Recycling Program

Looking to get rid of an old mattress?

You’ve got options, lots of them! Whether you live in an incorporated or unincorporated area of the County, there are multiple locations where you can bring your mattresses to be recycled – at no cost.

Learn more about the Countywide Mattress Recycling Program.

What can you do to help keep LA County clean?

  1. Dispose of waste properly and spread the word to friends and neighbors that illegal dumping is a crime.
  2. Do not transport unsecured debris in the back of a vehicle, and always use a tarp or other cover.
  3. Support cleanup of vacant lots and other sites commonly used for illegal dumping.
  4. Take used motor oil and other household hazardous waste (HHW) and electronic waste (E-waste) to proper collection facilities. Visit our HHW/E-waste website for a list of free locations and collection events. You may also visit oil filter exchange events to find a collection center near you.
  5. Bulky items, such as furniture, large appliances, etc., can be collected by your waste hauler, if you make arrangements. If you can’t donate useful items, make sure you dispose of them properly.
  6. Illegally dump tires are a significant problem. They can catch fire that are difficult to put out. They are also a haven for mosquitos when filled with water. To find an event near you, please visit our Waste Tire Recycling website.
  7. Free solid waste disposal services through the Lancaster Landfill or Sunshine Canyon Landfill Waste Plan Conformance Agreements.
  8. Utilize the illegal dumping prevention programs, especially in the Antelope Valley.
Waste hauler performing a bulky item pickup at a curb.