Illegal Dumping

Dumping trash and other debris in places not designated for waste is dangerous for everyone. Southwest Detroit has seen thousands of illegal dump sites, and the consequences are devastating. Here are just a few of the threats illegal dumping brings:

  • Fire and explosion – waste left in the hot sun may catch fire.
  • Injury – Anyone playing around waste or trying to clean it up could get hurt.
  • Disease – illegally dumped tires contain standing water, which is breeding ground for mosquitoes. Waste can become home to flies and rodents, who also can carry disease.
  • Contamination of ground water and soil – whatever is in the waste will seep into the ground.
  • Contamination of bodies of water and wells – the runoff from waste can travel far.

Besides these threats, illegal dumping affects the neighborhood, decreasing the quality of life of nearby residents.

dumped tires

To clean up illegal dump sites, you must have at least five pairs of hands and a dumpster rental, as well as dumpster pick-up service. Ironically, there are places nearby where dumping is free and legal, while dumping illegally is very risky because it can get you a hefty fine to pay the city.

It is hard to understand why anyone would think it was okay to put their trash on someone’s land without permission. But here are the reasons why people and businesses decide to do it:

  • Convenience – Properly disposing of certain materials may be time consuming. For example, City of Detroit dumps do not accept things like shingles or drywall.
  • Cost – It is expensive to dispose of certain types of waste. For example, many tire recycling or disposal facilities charge fees.
  • Ignorance – People may not have the will or the resources to find better options. They also might not consider the consequences of their actions for SW Detroit.

 dump site







The City of Detroit provides many free waste disposal services to its residents. The information is laid out quite clearly on their website.

Click on the item you need to dispose of to see the appropriate page of the city’s website and find out how to get rid of it legally.

Solid Household Waste: Bag your trash and put it in your container for weekly pick-up

Yard Waste: Place in biodegradable paper yard bag (available at hardware of grocery stores) at curb.

Recyclable Materials: Paper, boxes, plastic, metals, glass, batteries, light bulbs, Styrofoam, and beverage containers that are free of food and dirt can be bagged and dropped off at Clark Park on the fourth Saturday of every month. Visit our recycling page for more information.

Bulk Collection: If it’s too big for your container and you can’t wait for bulk collection, you can drop it off at 5840 Anthon between Cavalry and Campbell.

Hazardous Waste: Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Receiving Facility at 2000 E. Ferry Street (near the I-75 and I-94 freeways). Individuals can call (313) 923-2240 to schedule a time to bring household hazardous materials (HHW) to the facility, which is open year round Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. This facility is open to Detroit residents ONLY! There is no charge

Demolition, Construction, Remodeling, & Major Landscaping Waste: Arrangements must be made with a contractor for a dumpster.



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