Prevention Tips

A child properly disposing of waste

Keeping waste off of our roadways and out of our creeks, lakes, storm drains and neighborhoods is an end we can achieve. Read through our list of prevention tips and discover how easy it can be. But don’t stop here. Make the effort to learn about and familiarize yourself with all of the resources you have available to you to prevent your waste from contributing to the problem.

Tips for every resident:

  • Always dispose of your own waste material properly. Utilize your trash and recycling service – if you are not already enrolled, contact your city about signing up!
  • Make sure your truck is covered when transporting material to and from sites.
  • Need additional trash pick-up? Reach out to your service provider and ask if something can be schedule.
  • Have items that aren’t accepted in your curbside trash or recycling program? Contact your service provider and ask if they offer specialty pick-up services (like brush and bulk items). If they don’t, they may know someone that does!
  • Find a landfill or citizen transfer stations in your area and learn about what services they offer.
  • Ask your neighbors to join you in cleaning up a public area where waste has accumulated.
  • If you or a member of your family is involved in a civic group, scouting, or recreational sports program, encourage the group to become involved in a clean up. Have the group "adopt" a spot and maintain it on a regular basis.
  • Find out how you can plant and maintain flowers along a curb or sidewalk. People litter less where areas have been beautified.


Tips for Do-It-Yourselfers:

  • Use debris removal services, such as Waste Management’s Bagster®, where you purchase or rent a container, fill it, and let an expert handle the pick-up and proper disposal.
  • Work with contractors that dispose of their waste properly and can prove it. Do not pay until they present you with a landfill receipt showing that your waste was properly disposed.

Tips to integrate proper disposal into your everyday routine:

  • Carry a waste bag in your car and put small trash items in your pocket until you find a container
  • Have motor oil, oil filters, tires, or car batteries? Find out what items your regularly visited auto parts store or hobby shop will recycle or properly dispose of for you. Store these items safely and incorporate bringing them back into your regular visits.
  • Have used cooking oil or grease? Find out what items your regularly visited grocery store will recycle or take back for you. Store these items safely and incorporate bringing them back into your regular visits.
  • Have old, unused items sitting around? Try contacting a junk removal service or local donation center, like The Salvation Army of Goodwill, and inquire about home pick-up services or your nearest locations.

The most successful way to combat illegal dumping in your community is to have an ongoing, organized program that involves local government, businesses, civic groups, the media, schools and citizens.


*Some tips adapted from Keep America Beautiful's Top Ten Tips for Preventing Litter