Prevention & Enforcement of Illegal Dumping

Resources for Mississippi Communities

Illegal dumping occurs when solid wastes are discarded or caused to be dumped or placed on any property, either public or private, without proper authorization or legitimate purpose. Illegal dumping is a difficult issue that local and state governments must address on a continual basis. Illegal dumping and litter have significant negative economic and environmental impacts on our State. Illegal dumping repels economic development and investment and the location of new businesses and residents. In addition, the clean-up of illegal dumping costs local and state governments millions of dollars annually. Illegal dumping also can have environmental impacts by polluting our state waters (including ground water, streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, etc), damaging our soil quality, affecting our air quality from open burning activities and negatively impacting wildlife.

In order to assist local governments with this significant problem, MDEQ is providing a variety of resources that may be used for illegal dumping prevention and cleanup on the Resources for Mississippi Communities link. These resources include grants support, salary support for local enforcement personnel, training for local personnel, public outreach tools and information, and various other types of solid waste management assistance on how to implement or improve local enforcement and prevention in your community.

Most commonly, people choose to illegally dump because they do not want to pay for disposal or because local disposal options do not appear to be available or convenient. Often illegal dumping occurs on unsecured vacant lots, lots with abandoned buildings, remote spaces, dead-end roads, tree plantation lands and forested areas, alleys and remote roads, outskirts of cities, poorly lit areas, open sand and gravel mines, down ravines and gulleys, and in other similar un-secure areas. If illegal dumping problems are not reported and resolved early, the dumping location can become a common site for additional dumping. The dumping can also escalate to include hazardous wastes such as batteries, oil, paint, antifreeze, commercial and industrial wastes, pesticides, and other toxic or harmful wastes. Other common types of materials that are illegally dumped include:

Common Types of Materials Illegally Dumped
Filing an Illegal Dumping Complaint

For persons seeking to file a complaint regarding illegal dumping, illegal dumping can be reported as follows:

Contact your local enforcement agency or local Solid Waste Enforcement Officer for your county or municipality. If an officer is not listed for your county or municipality, we encourage you to contact another local enforcement agency such as your police department, sheriff’s department, or local code enforcement office.


You may report your complaint to MDEQ. You may remain anonymous when you file an illegal dumping complaint with MDEQ. MDEQ Contact Number: 601-961-5171.

Remember you will need as much information as possible on the complaint site, including the following:

  • The exact location where the dumping is occuring. (Most important)
  • The responsible party, if known.
  • The types of wastes involved.
  • The problems you have noted or are experiencing.
  • Information on the vehicle involved including the license plate number and description of the vehicle and person(s) involved.
  • The date and time of the incident(s).