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Illegal ('Fly') Dumping

Illegal dumping, or "fly dumping," is the dumping of any waste material on public or
private property without a permit from the Department of Public Health (CPDH).

Trash that is commonly dumped includes:

  • tires
  • old furniture
  • household garbage
  • construction debris
  • appliances
  • yard waste
  • hazardous waste (generally dumped in drums or barrels)

But it can be anything!

Illegal dumping endangers public health and can decrease surrounding property values. Discarded tires and other waste materials capture and hold rain water. Standing water is a prime breeding ground for mosquitoes, which can carry West Nile Virus (visit the Department of Public Health’s website for more information about West Nile Virus). In addition, discarded waste attracts rats and endangers children who play in it. Illegally dumped waste also is unsightly and can decrease neighbors’ property values.

If you see someone dumping illegally, call 311.

If you see someone dumping what may be hazardous waste, call 911.

Before you call...

  1. Get the license plate number.
  2. Get a description of the vehicle.
  3. Make a note of what is being dumped.

The City of Chicago aggressively prosecutes illegal dumpers based on information you provide. CDPH works with the Police Department and the Department of Streets and Sanitation to enforce laws against illegal dumping. Offenders are subject to fines (a minimum of $1,500 for the first offense) jail time of up to 6 months and community service of up to 200 hours. In addition, their vehicles are quickly impounded at the owner's expense.


Department Main Office

Streets & Sanitation