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How to Stop Illegal Dumping in Your Dumpster Rental

How to Stop Illegal Dumping in Your Dumpster Rental

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Illegal dumping happens more than it should in dumpster rentals. Illegal dumping isn't often done with malicious intent. However, intent isn't relevant if you are the one stuck with the consequences.

Knowing what illegal dumping is and how to stop it is important to keeping dumpster rental costs down. The better prepared you are, the more likely you will be able to prevent illegal trash dumping in your dumpster!

What is “Illegal” Dumping?

Illegal dumping in a rented roll off dumpster happens frequently. A random person will dump trash in someone else's dumpster without permission. They can be anyone from a neighbor looking to get rid of some junk to debris from nearby commercial landscaping or construction sites.

It may seem obvious that dumping trash into a dumpster on private property is illegal. However, this also applies to rental dumpsters placed on a street or construction site.

Commercial dumpsters at businesses, schools, and apartment complexes are also off-limits for dumping unwanted items and other trash.

Illegal dumping is a growing problem. According to the EPA, cost avoidance is the key driver for illegal dumping. Each year, Americans dump about 1.5 million tons of illegal waste.

Most cities and counties treat this type of illegal dumping as a misdemeanor punishable by fines and even jail time in some cases. This activity is not only illegal, but can cause problems for you when you rent a roll off dumpster.

How Does Illegal Dumping Affect My Dumpster Rental?

When my cousin moved into his new home, he immediately started on pressing home repairs and improvements. One of his first projects was replacing the flooring throughout the house. He rented a dumpster and did the demo himself to save on cost.

Imagine his surprise when he woke up the next day to find that the dumpster in front of his home was full of trash that was not his! After sleuthing around a bit, he discovered that the house next to his was also undergoing some renovations.

He confronted the neighbor. She replied, “There’s room in your dumpster, so it’s no big deal.” She didn’t realize that he wasn’t finished with the work and didn’t take into account how heavy the debris from a floor demo can be.

But is it really “no big deal?” It turns out that it is not just a nuisance. Illegal dumping in your rental dumpster can add up in significant extra costs to you.

Factors of Illegal Dumping

An infographic on the factors of illegal dumping
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There are three considerations when dealing with illegal dumping in your rental dumpster.

1. Dumpster Load

First, the load cannot extend above the top rail of the dumpster container. If you’ve filled up your dumpster, and then someone comes along and tosses an old couch on top, you have a problem. When the hauler comes to pick up your dumpster container, you will either be asked to remove the excess volume or you will be charged overage fees. If the load cannot be safely secured, the driver will be unable to transport it to the landfill.

2. Dumpster Weight Allowance

The second issue is more significant. Each dumpster size has a specific weight limit. When the truck hauling your dumpster arrives at the dump, it is weighed upon entry. After dumping the load, the empty truck and container are weighed again. The difference in weight is the total weight of your trash.

If this weight exceeds the weight limit for the container, you will be charged an overweight fee. The amount of this fee is set by the landfill operators. It may a significant amount if the load is extremely heavy. Thus, illegal dumping of heavy material such as concrete, dirt, landscaping rock, or other dense material could end up costing you.

3. Prohibited Items

Finally, there will be prohibitions on hazardous waste materials that are deemed toxic by a dumpster rental company. These materials are banned from most landfills. If they are spotted in the load, you could be assessed fines or cleanup cost. Examples of these types of prohibited items include:

  • Chemical waste
  • Batteries
  • Electronics
  • Old tires
  • Liquid paint
  • Medical waste

How to Prevent Illegal Dumping

It’s impossible to watch your dumpster 24/7, but there are some steps you can take to minimize the chance that you will be a victim of illegal dumping.

An infographic on how to prevent illegal dumping in your dumpster rental
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1. Keep Your Dumpster Only as Long as You Need

The very best way to prevent charges from excess weight due to illegal dumping is to minimize the time the dumpster sits on your property. Don’t schedule your delivery too early.

You should have your dumpster dropped off only when you’re ready to start disposing of your project or clean-out trash. While your rental period may be up to two weeks, you don’t have to keep the dumpster the whole time. Once you’ve completed the job, call to arrange for a pick-up. Letting your dumpster sit is a temptation for illegal dumpers.

2. Have Good Lighting at Your Site

Illegal dumpers don’t want to get caught. A well-lit area can deter people dumping trash, especially if it will take some time to unload the trash. Monitoring the area with a doorbell camera, or other security cameras, will also help alert you to any activity around your rental dumpster.

3. Tarp the Dumpster

Covering your rental dumpster at night or when you are not at home can help keep unwanted trash out of the dumpster container. You don’t necessarily need a heavy-duty tarp. Even a light covering will be a deterrent. A thin plastic tarp or two can be secured using bungee cords.

4. Avoid Placing the Dumpster in the Street

Sometimes you have no choice but to have your rental dumpster delivered onto the street in front of your home. But this makes it easier for illegal dumpers to access your rental dumpster. You can better secure your dumpster by having it delivered onto your private property, especially if you have fencing around the site.

5. Don’t Offer the Space in Your Dumpster to Others

You may want to help out a family member or neighbor. However, once you make the offer to share space in your dumpster, you can quickly lose control of the weight of the load.

6. Report any Illegal Dumping

Once you become a victim of illegal dumping, you may think there’s not much you can do. However, reporting this crime to local authorities could help. This is especially true if you anticipate needing a dumpster rental in the future.

Crime analysts watch for illegal dumping trends to help prevent these types of crimes through increased patrolling and prosecution of repeat offenders. There are illegal dumping fines that could be applied to any perpetrators!

Call Our Team at Discount Dumpster to Get Answers to All Your Questions

At Discount Dumpster, we not only offer cheap dumpster rentals. We also give you the support you need to get the job done. We’ll answer all your questions and give you advice on how to secure your dumpster from illegal dumping.

Call today to get a free quote, the lowest prices in the area, and professional support for all your dumpster rental needs.

Call to Answer Your Dumpster Rental Questions Today! - (888) 316-7010

About Monica Mayhak

I am an expert content writer with a depth of experience in the waste management and dumpster industry, with over 25 years of experience writing about construction, home improvement, property management, and education topics. As lead research writer for Discount Dumpster, I have expanded my knowledge and understanding of waste management, construction, and environmental issues over the past several years.

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