Texas Counties Deliver

Ector County Courthouse

300 North Grant, Room 116
Odessa, TX 79761
Phone: (432)498-4013


Want to report Illegal Dumping? Click Here.

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. 
  • 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.

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.

Quick Facts on Environmental Crimes

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • 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. 

  • 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. 

  • 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:


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

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

           The court shall order abatement and removal of the

           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. 

  • 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 prohibitedand 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 / Paint / Chemical

    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. 

  • 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: https://www.tceq.texas.gov/agency/decisions/participation/participation