Illegal Dumping

What Illegal Dumping Is

Illegal dumping refers to the disposing of waste in unauthorized areas (i.e., areas not designated for waste collection such as desert roadways, arroyos, abandoned or vacant lots, off roadside and highway shoulders, etc.). Even placing waste outside of dumpsters or overfilling them is illegal dumping.

Illegal Dumping Partnership

The IDP was originally formed by three agencies, South Central Solid Waste Authority (SCSWA), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Doña Ana County (DAC) to help combat illegal dumping throughout Doña Ana County. IDP worked to launch a comprehensive campaign to involve affected agencies, businesses, and communities to help educate and to stop illegal dumping.

The Illegal Dumping Partnership has now grown to consist of multiple local government and community groups. In addition to SCSWA, BLM, and DAC, the following entities are now active participants in the IDP:

  • New Mexico State Land Office
  • Doña Ana County Sheriff's Office
  • Mesilla Valley Regional Dispatch Authority
  • Las Cruces Home Builders Association
  • New Mexico Border Authority

Report Illegal Dumping

Download the No Throw App for free for Apple or Android. It's a simple way to easily and discretely report illegal dumping and dumpsites. With a quick photo and a few simple steps, you can be a vital player in UnTrashing Our Desert! Visit the Dona Ana County Illegal Dumping Website.

The Impact of Illegal Dumping on Economic Drain and on Local Economy and Resources

  • Program costs for law enforcement, administration, liability insurance, etc.
  • Cost for clean-up of dumps sites 3-5 times the cost of proper waste disposal
  • Restoration costs for maintenance/reclamation of sites
  • Deterrent to potential investment in an area
  • Diversion of resources (staff, equipment, and funds) from other needs.
  • Property devaluation, loss of community pride and upkeep
  • Loss of revenue stream to support waste disposal facilities

Environmental Risks and Aesthetic Degradation

  • Illegal dumping causes ground and surface water contamination; contamination of soil and plants; air pollution; and hazards to fish and wildlife species.
  • Illegal dump sites are often offensive to look at and harbor strong and unpleasant odors.

Public Health and Safety

  • Illegal dumping causes contamination of drinking water garbage also attracts disease carrying vector such as rats, flies, and mosquitoes. Access additional information on the Zika Virus from New Mexico Department of Health.
  • Items such as appliances, old computers and TVs may contain chemicals and heavy metals which can be harmful to human health. (Exposure to hazard waste and toxic chemicals and inhalation risks.)
  • Exposure to sharp objects, medical wastes, caustic substances, fire, etc.
  • Flooding due to drainage clogs.

Epidemic of Illegal Dumping New Mexico

Learn more about how illegal dumping is affecting us here in Las Cruces and Doña Ana County by viewing The Epidemic of Illegal Dumping in New Mexico video.

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