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Environmental Crimes

How do I Report Illegal dumping?

Report Illegal Dumping in Your Area

To report Illegal Dumping in Ector County, in progress, call 432-498-4000.

If you are unsure whom to contact, Texas residents may use report environmental violations to the Texas Environmental Complaint Hotline, 888-777-3186. Callers will be routed to the closest TCEQ regional office. Callers after business hours may leave a recorded message.

 

Quick Facts on Environmental Crimes

Property owners and local governments spend large amounts of money each year cleaning up wastes deposited by uncaring individuals. These monies easily reach into the millions of dollars and some of the money is your tax dollars. These individuals do not care that their waste pollutes our lands, water and air or that future generations will be affected by their selfish acts.

CRIMES

Unlawful Dumping - Health and Safety Code 365.012

 1)       A person commits an offense if the person disposes or permits the disposal of litter or other solid waste at a place that is not an approved solid waste site, including a place on or within 300 feet of a public right of way or highway, or on other public or private property, or into waters of the state.

 2)       A person commits an offense if the person receives litter or other solid waste for disposal at a place that is not an approved solid waste site, regardless of whether the litter or solid waste is disposed of on land the individual owns.

 3)       A person commits an offense if the person transports litter or solid waste to a place that is not an approved solid waste site.

 

PENALTIES

1)    An offense under this section is a Class C Misdemeanor if the litter or solid waste for which the offense applies, weighs 5 pounds or less or has a volume of 5 gallons or less.

2)       An offense under this section is a Class B Misdemeanor if the litter or solid waste for which the offense applies, weighs more that 5 pounds but less than 500 pounds, or has a volume of more than 5 gallons but less than 100 cubic feet.

3)       An offense under this section is a Class A Misdemeanor if the litter or solid waste to which the offense applies weighs 500 pounds or more but less than 1000 pounds or has a volume of 100 cubic feet or more but less than 200 cubic feet.

4)       An offense under this section is a Class A Misdemeanor if the litter or solid waste is disposed of for a commercial purpose (Economic Gain) and weighs more than 5 pounds but less than 200 pounds or has a volume of more than 5 gallons but less than 200 cubic feet. 


5)       An offense under this section is a State Jail Felony if the litter or solid waste to which the offense applies weighs 1000 pounds or more or has a volume of 200 cubic feet or more, or is disposed of for a Commercial Purpose and weighs 200 pounds or more or has a volume of 200 cubic feet.

A county ditch is not a permitted site for you to get rid of your garbage If someone you hire hauls away trash or materials and then dumps them illegally, you may be held liable and charges filed against you. The bottom line is solid waste has to be taken to a State permitted landfill.

 

Lead Acid Batteries (Vehicle Batteries) - Texas Water Code 7.185

Dumping of any lead acid batteries such as batteries from automobiles, aircraft and power equipment is a criminal offense, punished by up to 1 year in jail and a $4000.00 fine.

 

Used Motor Oil - Texas Water Code 7.176

Dumping any amount of used motor oil onto the ground is a Felony offense, punishable by up to 2 years in a state jail and/or a $10,000.00 fine.


Dumping in Waters, Streams, Lakes or ponds - Texas Water Code 7.145/7.147

Illegal dumping of any waste material in waters of the state, streams, lakes, or ponds is a State Jail Felony, punishable by a $10,000.00 fine and/or up to 2 years in a state jail.


Unauthorized Use of Another Person’s Dumpster -Penal Code 31.04 HSC 365.012

The unauthorized use of another person’s dumpster, including the unauthorized use of a business dumpster is a crime. You may be punished under the Texas Penal Code for Class B Misdemeanor Theft or for Illegal Dumping. If the dumpster has not been rented by you, or you do not have permission of the owner/lessee, you are committing a crime when you use it.

 

Junked Vehicles - Transportation Code 683.071

Junked Vehicle Procedures

 The definition of a Junked Vehicle is,

1)       a vehicle that is self propelled and:

2)       does not have lawfully attached
         (a)     an unexpired license plate
                (b)     a valid motor vehicle inspection is inoperable and has remained inoperable for more than

3)       72 consecutive hours if the vehicle is on public property; or

4)       30 consecutive days if the vehicle is on private property.



Junked Vehicles Declared to be a Public Nuisance

A junked vehicle, including a part of a junked vehicle, that is visible at any time of the year from a public place or public right-of-way:

 

Offense

1)       A person commits an offense if the person maintain a public nuisance as described in 683.072

2)       An offense under this section is a Class C Misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not exceeding $200.

3)       The court shall order abatement and removal of the

4)       Nuisance on conviction.

Failure to correct the public nuisance may result in the junked vehicle being removed and disposed of and transferred to a scrap yard or motor vehicle demolisher by the County.

Unlawful Outdoor Burning

The burning of tires, PVC/plastics, treated lumber, non-wood construction debris, furniture, carpet, electrical wire, appliances, heavy oils, oil filters, asphalt materials, potentially explosive materials and chemical wastes is strictly prohibited and is a crime.

The burning of trash, brush, trees, stumps or other waste for commercial gain (Companies hired to remove waste from one site to another for disposal) is also a crime.

Only when collection of domestic waste is not provided or authorized by the local governmental entity, and when the waste is generated only from a property used exclusively as a private residence is burning allowed.

On site private residential burning is approved for only domestic wastes generated only from that property (i.e., kitchen garbage, tree limbs, leaves etc).

Waste not considered domestic waste and cannot be burned includes:

* Tires / Rubber
* Treated Lumber
* Non-Wood Construction Debris
* Furniture
* Carpet
* Electrical Wire
* Appliances
* Metal, Tin or Aluminum
* Oils / Oil Filters

Land clearing operations must be done through Air Curtain Incineration (trench burning) or other alternate methods and must be authorized by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) contact the TCEQ Air Quality Section at: 432-570-1359.

Adopt-A-County-Road Program

The Ector County Adopt-A-Road Program is a litter-reduction campaign designed to remove litter and debris from county roads and improve the quality of the environment. It requires utilizing volunteers, citizens and community organizations that take pride in their roads, and want to maintain a litter-free environment. Many county roads are available for adoption. For more information on the Adopt-A-County-Road Program, or other related questions, contact us at: 432-498-4040.

 

Available Recycling Centers in Ector County

The Odessa Recycle Time Machine is a drop-off recycling center of the City of Odessa.  Located at 816 West 42nd Street, the Odessa Recycle Time Machine is operated by Kevin Butts of Permian Basin Recycling and Secured Document Shredding Inc.  Note:  Product pricing varies, call 432-368-5730 for daily pricing on recyclables.

Hours of Operation:  Tuesday through Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 pm and Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Closed on Sunday & Monday.

 

The City of Odessa Household Hazardous Waste Facility is located adjacent to the Odessa Recycle Time Machine (814 West 4nd Street) and is open to the public Tuesday through Friday 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Closed on Sunday & Monday.  For more information, call 432- 368-3546.

For more information on the Time Machine and Household Hazardous Waste Facility, visit their website at http://www.keepodessabeautiful.com/recycle_time_machine.html

 

 

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Illegal dumping?

You dump it, You drink it.

                Dumping is a Menace

                                Dumping is Illegal

  

What is Illegal Dumping?

When it comes to environmental crimes, illegal dumping is when a person or company intentionally disposes or allows the disposal of solid waste at a site or location that is not permitted as a landfill. Illegal dumping much of the time is a crime of opportunity. It ranges anywhere from your throwing the proverbial cigarette butt out of the window, to throwing bags of household garbage in a county ditch, a person dumping a trailer load of junk from their weekend clean up or a construction hauler dumping his truck load of debris onto private property. The bottom line is solid waste must be taken to a State permitted landfill.

 

 If you hire someone to haul away your trash or materials and they dump them illegally, you may be held liable and charges filed against you. To reduce illegal dumping, follow these guidelines:

 

  • Only do business with legitimate companies or individuals who are properly permitted and licensed to handle materials. Many for-hire companies which advertise waste or junk hauling services may not be properly permitted.
  • Ask the company where it intends to recycle or dispose of the materials.

Why is Illegal Dumping a Problem?

  • Illegal dumping is a major problem that raises significant concerns with regard to safety, property values, and quality of life in our communities. In addition, it is a major economic burden on local governments, which is typically responsible for cleaning up dump sites.
  • Illegal dumpsites can attract disease carry pest, are dangerous to children, can pollute our river and streams, and may contaminate water wells. And if they're not cleaned-up quickly, illegal dumpsites often invite more illegal dumping.
  • In addition to public health, safety and environmental costs, illegal dumping has financial costs to you the tax payer.

 

Why Do People Dump?

  • They do not want to spend the time or money to take their waste to a landfill
  • They feel it is all right to litter or dump
  • They don’t care about the place
  • They dump in a location where someone else has dumped

 

What If You See Someone Dumping?

Watch carefully and Report the following:

  • What is the license plate number of illegal dumpers vehicle?
  • What kind or type of vehicle is the illegal dumper driving?
  • What color is the illegal dumpers vehicle?
  • What does the illegal dumper (individuals) look like?
  • Where did they dump?
  • What did they dump?
  • Take a photo or video of what you observe.

Do not approach the dumper.  Contact a local law enforcement agency immediately.

 

 

How Can You Help Make Your Environment Cleaner and Safer?

  • Set an example by not littering or dumping
  • Take your used motor oils, tires and batteries to a local retailer or a recycle center
  • Use an authorized commercial trash service
  • Make sure that your trash is bagged, your trash cans have lids and are securely attached
  • Do not burn old tires, treated lumber, wiring insulation plastics, non-wood construction debris, furniture, carpet, oils, oil filters, asphalt materials, chemical wastes, or your household waste.
  • Do not discharge or pump your sewage and other waste lines to a ditch, stream, pond, or creek.
  • Get involved in your community or neighborhood:  http://www.tceq.texas.gov/agency/public_main.html

 

State Approved Local Landfill

Charter Waste Landfill, Inc.
12035 W Murphy St (West I-20)
Odessa, TX 79763
(432) 381-4722

  

Helpful Links

Don't Mess With Texas
Keep America Beautiful
State of Texas Alliance for Recycling (STAR)
Keep Texas Beautiful
Texas Illegal Dumping Resource Center
Keep Odessa Beautiful
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality



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