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Prevent Illegal Dumping
Illegal Dumping in the streetIllegal dumping is a serious issue that can affect your safety, your community, and environment.
When people illegally dump waste in neighborhood streets, parks, and creeks it creates a visual blight, pollutes the environment and can create a hazard by attracting pests or exposing residents to harmful materials and rotting waste.

Is there a problem area in your neighborhood?
If there is repeated illegal dumping in your neighborhood consider working with your community to try the below actions to deter future dumping. Remember, illegal dumpers want secluded unused areas where they think people would not see what they are doing.
  • Monitoring Illegal DumpingReport it: Call the Customer Contact Center at (408) 535-3500. If witnessing dumping in progress call the Police Department at (408) 277-8900.
  • Monitor the site: pick up litter and remove graffiti from the site so that does not appear abandoned or unused.
  • Clean up immediately: dumping attracts more dumping. Remove dumped items immediately so that more people do not add to the site. Also, illegal dumping that sits can affect our local water ways and attract insects and animals creating an unhealthy environment.
  • Improve visibility: trim overgrown brush and low hanging tree limbs, improve lighting or remove other obstacles that obscure the area from the neighborhood.
  • Block access: check if there is ability to block easy access to the area, such as chaining parking lots and debris bin areas during off hours.
  • Activate the site: Use the area, for example, make a community garden, sitting area, put up a basketball hoop, landscaping, or a mural. Make sure it is apparent that this is an active area for the community.

Looking for free cleanup supplies and assistance in addressing litter and dumping in your community?
Call the San José Anti-Litter & Anti-Graffiti Program at (408) 975-7233 or send them an email. The Anti-Litter & Anti-Graffiti Program can help to organize neighborhood cleanups, provide supplies to individual volunteers and make presentations to community groups.

Placing unwanted furniture, appliances, mattresses, excess garbage and other debris on the curb is illegal dumping.
Consider donation or recycling of unwanted items instead of tossing them out. This will reduce waste and allow reuse of materials. Your recycling hauler also offers convenient collection options for bulky items. Not sure who your recycling hauler is? San José’s Collection Day Lookup provides a convenient way to find your garbage, recycling, and yard trimmings collection day, street sweeping schedule, neighborhood cleanup event, and service provider contact information.

Hiring a hauler?
Sometimes haulers who are hired to take waste to the landfill, dump the waste in our neighborhoods to save on the tip fee. Avoid having you waste end up in someone’s yard, park, street or creek:
  • Ask for a receipt: ask your hauler for a landfill receipt to confirm they have properly disposed of the trash.
  • Hire a licensed hauler: hire a hauler with a business license that is registered with the City.
  • If the price is too good to be true, it may not be.