Environmental Crimes Unit is responsible for conducting initial and
follow up investigations of crimes that
have a direct impact
on the land,
water or air of New Hanover County. These include the illegal
dumping and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous waste into the
rivers, storm drains and illegal dump sites.
Illegal dumping, (depositing material on public or private property
without the consent of the owner), is the most common type of
environmental crime. Dumping is a significant cause of
environmental degradation. It has a negative economic impact on
How to Prevent Illegal
Dumping in Your Neighborhood
Put up signs.
Create a sense
of activity in the area so dumpers stay away.
Be mindful of
vulnerable areas such as dead-end streets, vacant lots, and
abandoned buildings or parking lots, and keep an eye on them.
Talk to your
neighbors and share information with them on how to report illegal
Types of Material
items are routinely dumped along roadsides and in dead-end streets in
New Hanover County. The common materials usually dumped include:
Who Dumps Illegally and
types of people dump illegally, so it can be difficult to develop one
profile. However, common offenders include:
"haul for a nominal fee"
demolition, remodeling, roofing, or landscaping contractors
repair and tire shops
resident may miss trash collection day and then dump waste. People
may also dump wastes that did not get picked up by local waste haulers,
such as tires, leaves and brush, or household hazardous wastes.
Finally, some waste materials are banned from landfills, and residents
who don't have access to services to handle these banned materials may
dump because they don't want to pay the disposal fee.
individual may claim to be operating a hauling company and charge a
small fee for service. If it seems like the fee is "too good to be
true," then it probably is. The individual may be illegally
dumping your material in someone's neighborhood. In many cases,
illegal dumpers also are breaking other laws dealing with permits to
haul, vehicle licensing, and insurance.
Sometimes someone may claim to operate a disposal business and accept
waste at an unpermitted facility, only to abandon the facility when it
Illegal Dumping Commonly Occurs
Unfortunately, illegal dumping occurs in lots of places. However,
it is common to find illegal dumping in abandoned industrial,
residential, or commercial buildings and properties; vacant lots on
public or private property; and along roadways and in alleys.
Rural roads and dead-end streets are particularly vulnerable to illegal
dumping since they tend to be poorly lit and have little traffic.
Parks, wooded sites, and farms often experience illegal dumping because
they are sparsely populated and dark. While illegal dumping often
occurs at night or in the early morning hours, it can occur at any time
Effects of Illegal
Dumping on Neighborhood Livability
There are many negative effects on a neighborhood that experiences
illegal dumping. First, there are significant health risks,
including exposure to rodents, insects and other animals that make
illegal dumps their homes. Also, sharp objects, broken glass, and
protruding nails, and heavy objects are dangerous to curious children,
pets, and walkers who might come near them. Finally, there may be
hazardous chemicals found in illegal dumps that may cause illness or
could cause a fire by arsonists or through spontaneous combustion.
In heavy rain, illegal dumping can leach hazard chemicals and could
impact proper drainage of runoff, making areas more susceptible to
flooding when wastes block ravines, creeks, culverts, and drainage
Illegal dumping has a negative impact on the morale of a neighborhood.
Illegal dumping results in decreased property values, thereby impacting
property resale and the interest of commercial and residential