5 Things to Know About Illegal Dumping & Bulk Trash in Phoenix


Breaking Down the Laws of the Land

Whether you’re a AZ newbie, or have lived here your whole life, it’s important to understand Phoenix’s laws for trash collection, garbage pickup, and illegal dumping, as there can be serious penalties for any misconduct.

Here at AZ Junk we like to keep our reading entertaining, however,  sometimes we need to cover topics that are less than interesting but necessary nonetheless.  With that being said…

According to the Phoenix Public Works Department, “bulk trash” refers to objects that are too large to discard in a normal garbage or recycling container, such as furniture and large appliances. Bulk trash collection only occurs four times a year, as opposed to the regular garbage and recycling collection days, which occur once a week. However, since large and bulky objects are disposed of on these days, some people take this opportunity to illegally dump items that are not allowed.

Here is a more specific breakdown of Phoenix’s regulations and procedures surrounding all things garbage!


5 Key Takeaways from Phoenix Laws & Sautes

  1. Citizens of Phoenix are encouraged to report any and all suspicious activity during this time of year.
    In order to nip bad behavior in the bud, Phoenix encourages its residence to support any suspicious activity they may see to Crime Stop at 602-262-6151 or to the Public Works office at 602-262-7251 (you can, of course, always call 911 for emergencies). Rest assured that all information you give will be held confidential, and you can always ask to remain anonymous if you feel uncomfortable revealing your identity.
  2. When you call to report any illegal dumping, it is best to include the following information.
    If you are able to, the Phoenix Public Works Department encourages anyone who witnesses illegal dumping to call with the following details:- directions to the location of the site of the crime- a description of the size, shape, and other visual aspects of the dumped object- the date at which the dumping is thought to have occurred-descriptions of any vehicles or individuals that could be related to the dumping incident- the name and contact information of the owner of the property at which the object was dumped.
  3. Bulk trash can be placed out for collection nine days prior to the collection date, no earlier.
    This is an effort to cut down on illegal dumping as well as to keep sidewalks and streets as clear and healthy as possible. Excessive garbage can attract rodents, insects, and other vermin, as well as allowing for the growth of bacteria and mold.The city sends out notices when it’s time to start placing your bulk trash out, so be sure to keep your eyes open.
  4. Illegal dumping – also sometimes called wildcat dumping, open dumping, or midnight dumping – is defined by the Phoenix Public Works Department of disposing trash at a location where that trash was not generated without permission.
    When bulk trash collection season starts, some people see it as opportunities to surreptitiously place their own garbage bags filled with illegal paraphernalia (or even legal objects like appliances or yard waste) with an unsuspecting resident’s collection of bulk trash.Illegal dumping can also occur throughout the year via disposal of such garbage in alleyways, vacant lots, or dumpsters.Unfortunately,  some people take advantage of bulk trash collection time to increase illegal dumping activity. Approved bulk trash disposal locations across Arizona include landfills and waste transfer stations and, of course, waiting for bulk trash cleanup season to come around.
  5. You might not realize it, but illegal dumping is a crime that is taken very seriously by authorities.
    Not only is it unsightly and inconsiderate, but it is in fact a class two misdemeanor, according to the A.R.S. Section 49-791.Depending on the size and contents of the dump, fines can be as high as $15,000 or more for a single illegal dumping violation – not counting other possible penalties if the contents of the illegal dump include any illegally obtained or disallowed objects.

If you have any questions or concerns about the above policies, or if you’re looking to get clarification about any point, feel free to contact your local law enforcement agency or the Phoenix Public Works Department directly. Phoenix strives to keep its neighborhoods both healthy and clean, so having everyone’s support and cooperation is crucial to the success of the bulk trash collection procedure. If you see anything that looks suspicious, don’t forget to report it right away!

For more information, click to download a complete outline of Arizona dumping & bulk trash laws.

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What is illegal dumping?

Illegal dumping refers to the act of disposing of waste, such as trash or litter, in an unauthorized area or manner. People often do this with things like tires and car batteries due to the costs associated with disposing them legally.

What are the consequences of illegal dumping?

The consequences of getting caught illegally dumping can include fines, penalties, and criminal charges. And sometimes these fines can be a heavy as $500 to $1500 depending on your city.  Not to mention it can also harm the environment and negatively impact the quality of life in the community.

How can I report illegal dumping in my community?

You can report illegal dumping to local authorities, such as the police or waste management department, although simply dialing 911 is the easiest and fastest way. Your town may also have a special number for you to call, so check that out as well if you have the time.

What are some common items illegally dumped?

Some common items illegally dumped include car tires, household waste, construction debris, electronics, and hazardous waste. These all normally cost money so the person dumping them simply doesn’t want to take on the cost of properly disposing them.

Can I be held responsible for illegal dumping on my property?

Yes, property owners can be held responsible for illegal dumping on their property, even if they were not the ones who dumped the waste. That’s why you should always report the event even if it seems harmless. Toxic materials cleanup can get extremely expensive, and you’ll be footing the bill.

How can I prevent illegal dumping in my community?

You can prevent illegal dumping in your community by properly disposing of waste, reporting illegal dumping to local authorities, and participating in community cleanup efforts. Also, finding places where it frequently happens and changing the environment, like planting bushes, building a shed, or using the space for something that makes dumping more difficult to do is also advised.

Are there any laws or regulations for illegal dumping?

Yes, there are many laws and regulations for illegal dumping, which vary by state and jurisdiction. Penalties for illegal dumping can range from fines to imprisonment and are often taken very seriously!


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About the author

Brad Thomason is the owner of AZ Junk Removal, a seasoned professional with decades of experience in the moving and junk removal industry. With an acute understanding of how people acquire and dispose of items, he established his company in 2001, serving the Phoenix, Arizona area with exceptional junk removal services. Throughout his career, Brad has witnessed the exponential growth of the city as new communities, businesses, and retail centers continue to develop.

Committed to offering a more personalized approach, Brad operates the company as an owner-operator, actively involved in daily operations. When you choose AZ Junk Removal to eliminate clutter, you can expect to work directly with Brad, one of his close family members, or friends. This level of customer service sets them apart from other franchised hauling companies in the Valley.

With his wealth of knowledge and commitment to providing top-notch service, going with Brad Thomason is the clear choice for all of your junk removal needs in Phoenix, Arizona.


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