Illegal Dumping In Arizona: Everything You Need to Know

Illegal dumping is a temptation to some who may have difficulties in transporting or paying for disposal.

The fact is, however, that illegal dumping has serious potential consequences for both the environment, the local neighborhood, and the people who commit this offense. Click here for a full PDF guide on illegal dumping in Arizona.

In this article, we are going to break down everything you need to know about illegal dumping in the state of Arizona. We will define illegal dumping, walk you through the consequences of this offense and offer some helpful solutions to any possible junk removal issues.

Let’s get to it.

What Constitutes Illegal Dumping?

When broached with the question of why they would attempt this – some take a simplistic (perhaps obtuse) outlook. “What’s the difference between dumping it here, and dumping it at the refuse station – it’s the same thing, right?”


There are many reasons why we have to take our junk to the appropriate site where it can be sorted and disposed of in a controlled way. People may not realize how harmful the seemingly benign products are when they are left in the environment – but more on that later. The point is – there is no excuse for illegal dumping.

Illegal dumping is defined as disposing of waste in an unauthorized or unpermitted area. You will usually find illegal dumpsites in more rural or uninhabited areas – often ditches or trailheads where vehicles can quickly commit their deed and flee without being seen.

If you find one of these sites you should report it. In Arizona, you can find your local phone number for reporting illegal dumping on this page.

What Things Do People Dump Illegally? (And Who Does It?)

Typically, though not always, people who run small businesses that produce a significant amount of waste regularly are the culprits. Landscapers and small construction business owners are commonly caught dumping construction waste, old appliances, and yard waste / organic matter illegally.

Sometimes it’s not as much an issue of ignorance as it is a cultural or social issue. In many parts of the world, this kind of dumping is regarded as a minor problem or even a necessity. Often, outreach and education (like the work that the City of Phoenix is doing for their Zero Waste Program) can help people to learn the repercussions of this act, and change their behavior.

Trying to save a buck by cutting corners like this is shameful in their organization or business practices, and it is important to catch these people because they can cause significant problems.

Other commonly found items include business garbage, chemicals, and medical waste, furniture, household garbage, old mattresses, tires, and petroleum products like old oil. It may seem like some things are worse to dump than others – but the fact is that even seemingly harmless kinds of waste are harmful.

For example, dumping yard waste in a ditch in the middle of the woods may seem harmless, but it can have severe consequences. When large piles of organic matter are left there can be unexpected biological and chemical reactions. For example, the gas H2S – one of the most lethal chemicals known to the central nervous system, can be released when decomposing organic material is disturbed. To be clear, this is a rare occurrence outside of a confined space – but it is possible.

Let’s have a look at some of the more common consequences of illegal dumping.

Consequences of Illegal Dumping

Environmental issues and hazards are created – not just by the often dangerous waste as it sits, but by the chemicals and harmful substances that leech into the ground. Anything that gets into the ground is also going into the groundwater, so aside from being unsightly and disrespectful to residents, illegal dumpers pose a real threat to their livelihood.

The consequences aren’t limited to the innocent either. Illegal dumpers risk a $2500 fine and even up to a year in prison, which can be detrimental to someone’s life. It’s just not worth it.

The city of Phoenix has installed cameras in common illegal dumpsites and officials have stated they are committed to catching offenders.

The Happy Alternative

One of the best things you can do is leave it to the pros. Happy Junk Removal is an environmentally friendly, convenient, and affordable solution for your junk removal needs. Whether you need to rent a dumpster, schedule a pick-up, or are just curious about rates, get in touch and we’ll be happy to help you with anything you need!

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