About Illegal Dumping

Illegal dumping is often a crime of opportunity and occurs in remote locations of the County or in low income neighborhoods. When illegal dumping occurs, the damage to neighborhoods and the environment can be severe:

  • Property values decline where illegal dumping is rampant.
  • Unreported illegal dumping results in more illegal dumping -  illegal dumpers find an easy location and keep coming back. Illegal Dumping image
  • Illegally dumped material quickly becomes a breeding habitat for vectors, such as mice, rats and mosquitoes, which can spread diseases such as encephalitis, hantavirus pulmonary syndrome and West Nile Disease.  For the health and safety of yourself and your family, report illegal dumping piles!
  • Illegal dumping is hazardous to the environment. Refrigerators, tires, auto parts and televisions may contain heavy metals and other toxins.
  • Illegal dumping piles pose a traffic hazard when left in the public right-of-way.
  • Illegal dumping costs County tax and rate payers hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. Without the help of all County residents and visitors, this problem is almost certain to grow.  

When You Are Caught Dumping Illegally 

The County of Sacramento has a zero tolerance policy towards illegal dumpers. Anyone caught faces citation and arrest. Fines begin at $250 and can go as high as $3,000.  Defendants are charged under Penal Code Section 374.3, subsections A and H. Depending on the quantity of materials, the first and second offense is prosecuted as an infraction. A third violation is typically pursued as a misdemeanor. Penal Code Section 374.3

Illegal Dumping Convictions

  • First offense: $250 to $1,000 
  • Second offense: $500 to $1,500 
  • Third offense: $750 to $3,000
    (If the courts finds that the waste matter placed, deposited, or dumped was used tires, the fine prescribed shall be doubled.)  

Had you taken it to a landfill...$20 (the same cost as a disposal fee for one pick-up load at the County facility)

Here is where you can properly dispose of junk and rubbish.  

Dumping on Private Property (Not in the right-of-way or on County roadways)

Dumping of garbage on private property, or storing or accumulating junk, rubbish and garbage is regulated by a variety of County departments, including Code Enforcement and Environmental Management, depending on the situation.

In general, property owners are responsible for conditions on their private property. For questions concerning hazardous waste, medical waste, dumpsters in apartment buildings or on private property, junk, automobiles, rubbish, etc., contact Sacramento County 311 Connect.