Clear.gif (49 bytes) Illegal Dumping Prevention Guidebook

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Developing a Prevention Program


Leadership and Support by Local Officials

Cooperation Among Authorities, Communities, and Industry

An Integrated Approach
Publicizing Success

Any illegal dumping prevention program must address the contributing factors in the area where it is implemented. However, successful programs are founded on
  • Leadership and support by local officials
  • Cooperation among authorities, communities, and industry
  • An integrated approach
  • Publicizing success

Return to Top of PageLeadership and Support by Local Officials

Local politicians and high-level officials must make prevention programs a priority and support them with adequate funding, access to equipment, and labor resources. In addition, department staff must work with available resources to carry out the program and report accomplishments back to high-level authorities.

Local ordinances and state laws may already exist or can be developed to discourage illegal dumping. However, ordinances and laws are ineffective without a commitment from high-level authorities for enforcement. For example, police officers must have the support of their command, and the police department must have the support of the court system. In addition, if illegal dumping is not viewed as a priority and little action is taken, residents become frustrated and stop contacting police or local officials to report problems. Residents must be encouraged to persist in contacting different local, county, and state agencies until they find an individual who is responsive to their concerns.

Return to Top of PageCooperation Among Authorities, Communities, and Industry

Local authorities such as police, health, environment, public works, and sanitation departments must work together and with local communities. Such coordination allows sharing of resources and helps avoid duplication of effort. For example, a typical coordination effort involves establishment of an "illegal dumping task force" made up of representatives from each local department with the authority or resources to address the problem. Including discussion of dumping issues in community-oriented police "beat meetings" is an example of coordination with communities. Community organizations must work together by sharing information and presenting a unified voice to authorities.

Return to Top of PageAn Integrated Approach

An effective illegal dumping prevention approach requires integration of several strategies that complement one another, including

  • Site maintenance and controls
  • Community outreach and involvement
  • Targeted enforcement
  • Program measurement

Integration of these strategies and cooperation of partners from government, communities, and industry are needed to plan, implement, and sustain a successful prevention program. Each of these strategies is described in detail in the "toolkit" at the end of this guidebook along with case studies demonstrating their successful implementation.

Return to Top of PagePublicizing Success

Publicizing program results is necessary to obtain continued support from high-level authorities and to maintain cooperation between authorities and community groups. Prevention programs must be recognized as cooperative efforts, and successes need to be shared with all parties involved to validate their participation, gain additional support, and allow others to benefit from lessons learned.

Tracking program impacts such as arrests, fines, vehicle impoundments, cleaned-up sites, and avoided costs is integral to the continuation of illegal dumping prevention efforts. Evaluating program efforts provides data for cost-benefit analyses, publicity efforts, budget hearings, and grant program accountability.