County crackdown on illegal dumping

Somebody making a mess, someplace they shouldn’t? Action taken by King County Councilmembers today might help. Read on for the full details:

The official county news release:

Those caught illegally dumping onto property in unincorporated and rural King County will now help pay for the damage they caused, as the Metropolitan King County Council today unanimously adopted legislation to hold violators financially responsible.

“Illegal dumping occurs all over King County and especially in the rural areas of my district,” said Councilmember Reagan Dunn, sponsor of the ordinance. “King County has a responsibility to help protect our families, our property and our environment. As a resident of rural King County, I see the evidence of illegal dumping almost every day. This law will make people think twice before they dump garbage on the side of the road.”

Dunn said the County now spends up to $2 million a year to clean up the results of illegal dumping, with reports numbering in the hundreds. However, he said actual numbers may be much higher due to the low percentage of sites actually reported.

Under the ordinance adopted today, anyone convicted of illegal dumping will be charged a $100 fine and a restitution fee of twice the cost of cleanup or $100 per cubic foot, whichever is greater. Half of the money collected from the restitution fee will go to the landowner who was victimized by the illegal dumping.

“Illegal dumping is a serious problem for public health and safety,” Dunn said. “It’s also a significant source of environmental damage. We will now have new tools for catching those who would put our citizens at risk.”

The ordinance also gives multiple County agencies the ability to enforce illegal dumping laws. Previously, all incidents had to go through the standard law enforcement process, which caused most cases to be dropped or not pursued. King County has hundreds of maintenance workers and other employees on the ground who can now help enforce the law, dramatically increasing the number of people on the lookout for illegal dumpers.

Today’s ordinance is the first in a two-step process headed by Councilmember Dunn to curtail illegal dumping. Working with County Executive Ron Sims, Dunn introduced an ordinance that will allow landowners who are the victims of illegal dumping to get a waiver for the fee of disposing the trash at a county landfill, in cases where the identity of the dumper cannot be determined.


You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

5 Responses to “County crackdown on illegal dumping”

  1. You can get anything you want
    At Alice’s Restaurant!

    For some reason that’s going through my head.


  2. Dick Thurnau Says:

    KC Council passed this law on illegal dumping which sounds great but what means is it going to be effective? Their are many laws on the record such as illegal Alcohol usage in KC Parks or the $500.00 fine for littering our highways.A Prime example is our State route 509 Freeway the roadside looks like a garbage dump.
    My question is how and who is going to provide enforcement for these costly degrading problems? Laws are not effective if they do not produce results.

  3. Well, here are some ideas for enforcement:
    -Check the trash for envelopes with names on them that can be investigated
    -Take plaster tire tracks
    -Look for foot prints
    -Look for fingerprints
    -Use sniffing dogs
    -Take plenty of photos (at least 27, 8×10 in size, glossy)
    -Don’t forget aerial photography

    Once you catch someone, they should be tried by a judge, and if convicted, they should pay a fine and be required to pick up their litter. Also, a note should go in their draft file.

    Problem solved.



  4. Possibly over simple – but how about starting with signs posted by the county stating “No Dumping” and how much the fine will be. The two places by my house that are constant dumping grounds have no signs.

  5. Rebecca Lopes Says:

    my new neighbor was working his tail off trying to clean around the house he bought and one call to the County by one unfriendly neighbor got the county out and he got cited and spent every free moment he had trying to clean it up more so as not to get fined. His yard looked landscaped compared to the one in the picture.