Unlawful Dumping Prevention

The most important thing a homeowner or property occupant can do to prevent dumping is to keep the property clean, maintained, and in good repair. Lack of "care" invites dumping

Our Neighborhood Enforcement Action Team (NEAT) crew will clean up illegal dumps blocking the passage of streets or alleys. You will be responsible for any dumping on your property and can be cited for it, unless in the rare event a Neighborhood Services & Enforcement inspector can catch the dumping or verify where the dump originated; otherwise 311 can schedule a special pick up.

How do I prevent unlawful dumping?

Prevention Tips

  • Install motion lights in the back and the side of properties.
  • Install either fake or real cameras.
  • Install signs that state no littering, no dumping, and under surveillance.
  • Keep property secured including the garage and fence.
  • Maintain an open line of sight from the house to the alley.
  • Form partnerships with your neighbors to watch each other's properties.
  • Cut back any vegetation overgrowth that provides shadowing.
  • Use and encourage the use of licensed contractors to remove trash.
  • Request a receipt for dumping fees before paying in full for trash removal services.

Informational Brochure

Additional information can be found in the City's Municipal Code Section 16-40 and 16-57.

What if I witness someone dumping trash?

If you witness unlawful dumping, please call the Police Department at 574-235-9361. 

Gather as much information to help identify the individual or vehicle. 

What if I am the victim of unlawful dumping?

You are allowed 1 free item pickup a month through the Department of Solid Waste. 

If you encounter a suspected unlawful/uncontrolled dump, you should contact 311 as soon as possible, we will then send an inspector out to investigate the violation. If the inspector verifies that it is illegal dumping, the City will remove the violation and look for evidence of the party involved which may result in a ticket up to $2,500.

If it is unclear whether or not the violation is an unlawful/uncontrolled dump, we will send a letter to the property owner giving 10 days to fix the issue. On the 11th day if it still exists, the inspector will contact the crew to remove the items and the property owner will then be billed for the removal services.


Municipal Code Section 16-40 and 16-57.

311 Process Notes

Intake questions:

1. Where is the illegal dumping? 

  • If it is on the callers property, advise them they are responsible for cleaning it up and ask them if they would like to schedule a special pick up. Clarify if the dumping is on the caller's property. If yes, create online complaint via ACA.  Advise them that they will be cited for the items if the inspector can not verify the origin of them.
  • Our NEAT crew will clean up items blocking the passage of streets or alleys. Create a CRM with the location information of the illegal dump.