Whether you have missed your trash pickup day or got extra junk, it is a tempting idea to put some of your garbage into your neighbor’s cart or local dumpster.

But the main question is it illegal to throw trash in a dumpster? Well, here is the essential information we don’t want you to miss:

Your Quick Answer!
As of US law code section 16-7-52, it is illegal to throw your trash in someone else’s dumpster, public dumpster, store dumpster, construction dumpster, or local park dumpster unless you have permission from relevant authorities.

That pretty much explains everything, Right? Well, certainly, there are a few more things you must know about illegal dumping.

Is Illegal Dumping A Crime?

Illegal dumping is a crime, and you may have to pay a $25,000 fine for each violation. The 16-7-52 code section of US Law explains that any person who dumps illegally shall be guilty of a felony. 

is it illegal to throw trash in a public dumpster

This code section clearly explains that:

  • You can’t dump your solid waste on roads, parks, rivers, streams, or any public property.
  • It is a criminal offense to sump in front of empty private property.

If caught, the person shall be responsible for removing foul dumping and shall be fined not more than $25,000 for every violation.

What Else Can You Do To Dispose of Your Trash Legally?

If you have got more than your accepted limit for residential solid waste or bulky items, you still can get rid of them legally. Here are your two best options.

1. Take Permission First

If you have permission, you don’t have to worry a bit. Whether you’re planning to use the store dumpster or any of your neighbor’s carts, ask first.

The main reason for it is that every business has different dumpster sizes. Once you put your residential waste, it’s their responsibility to handle it.

2. Hire A Private Junk Hauler

It is your safest option. You can hire a private junk hauler, a.k.a, your own dumpster, and get rid of all the unwanted waste. 

Keep in mind that you have to pay the junk removal fee depending on the size or number of your large items, type of trash, and days. During public holidays you might have to pay around 50% more for instant service. 

Is It Illegal To Throw Furniture Away In A Dumpster?

Yes, it is illegal to throw any kind of furniture into someone else’s dumpster, shared public dumpster, or any business dumpster, unless you have permission to do so. 

is it illegal to throw trash in a business dumpster

Else you can set up a yard sale or donate your furniture to the local goodwill or charity. 

What To Do If Someone Is Dumping Illegally In Your Dumpster?

If someone is using your trash cart or private dumpster without permission, you must report it. Keep in mind that you should also take action if you observe any type of unlawful dumping or littering anywhere.

Report Illegal Dumping

The first thing you should do is call the police and explain the whole issue to them. Right after, you must call your city services directly or dial 311.

Once you’ve done that, follow the below-listed guideline:

  • Don’t put or take out any solid waste from the dumpster.
  • Wait for authorities to arrive.
  • Don’t fight or argue with the criminal (if you’ve caught them).
  • Corporate with police and explain the whole situation honestly.

The situation can be difficult for you but it is best to leave the investigation to the authorities and ensure that you won’t fight or argue with the offender.

How To Stop Illegal Dumping?

If someone is dumping in front of your private property, the best thing to do is report the matter to the police right away.


But if someone is putting their trash (any kind) in your dumpster, here’re the 3 affected ways to try:

  • Lock your dumpster, always.
  • Keep your dumpster in a fenced area if possible.
  • Put a sign of “No Trespassing” over it.

Well, one more potential solution is to install a camera with an alarm over your private dumpster.

Dumping Trash In Dumpster Illegally FAQs

Is it illegal to throw trash in a public dumpster?

Yes, it is illegal to put your garbage in a public dumpster. If caught, you might have to pay a fine or even jail time.

Is it illegal to throw trash in a store dumpster?

It is a misdemeanor offense to use someone else’s dumpster, any business or store dumpster, unless you have permission.

Wrapping It Up!

Illegal dumping is a serious issue that leads to several severe problems. Under any circumstances, it is prohibited by law to throw trash, construction debris, any type of liquid, or your Christmas tree in any public or private dumpster unless you have permission.

If you’re the victim of illegal dumping, report the issue to police and local authorities by calling 311. Keep in mind that there is a fine for unlawful dumping that can be a maximum of $25,000. For repeated offenses, you might end up having jail time.


Jimmy Carter specializes in providing up-to-date information on trash schedules for cities and states across the USA. With a passion for community service and sustainability, Jimmy is committed to helping people reduce their environmental impact and keep their neighborhoods clean.

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