Illegal dumping occurs in numerous ways throughout Centre County. Most people illegally dump their trash to avoid the costs of proper disposal. Illegal dumping can be anything from littering (throwing an empty can out your vehicle window), dumping household trash in rural areas, discarding construction waste in old strip mines, placing your household garbage in your employer's dumpster and even placing your trash in your neighbor's driveway on his pickup day. Whether you destroy the beauty of our environment or have someone else unknowingly pay for your costs of trash disposal, it's still illegal dumping.
In 1991, the Centre County Commissioners adopted a county-wide ordinance to help prevent illegal dumping. Although the cost of disposing of a month's worth of household trash may be less than ten dollars, illegal disposal can cost up to $1,000 per incident or in some instances, jail time. It's simply not worth it. To enforce the County ordinance, the Authority employs a full time enforcement officer.
This officer uses various types of surveillance equipment to catch and help prosecute individuals who violate the ordinance. Fines collected from successful prosecutions are used to support clean-up days held throughout the County. Whether it's Spring Creek, Sinking Creek or the Munson Dump, the Authority has targeted money, manpower and equipment to try and clean frequently used dump sites. Many of our cases begin with complaints/tips received from county residents.
If you witness illegal dumping, you can contact our enforcement officer at our office. All information received can be kept confidential.
Along with investigating illegal dumping complaints, our enforcement officer administers a licensing program for all trash haulers who collect waste in the County. Each hauler is required to be licensed by the Authority. If you need the services of a trash hauler, make sure he is licensed by the Authority. Look for a red, blue or yellow sticker on the side of his vehicle, along with our initials, CCSWA.
There are 35 municipalities in Centre County and only thirteen of them have an ordinance requiring mandatory trash collection. That means the residents of the other 22 municipalities can choose to either have a hauler collect their trash, bring it to our transfer station themselves or select some other means of disposal. Unfortunately, some individuals choose to dispose of their trash along the rural roads of Centre County.
With nearly one third of Centre County consisting of public lands, and over 12,000 acres of abandoned strip mines, there are many places for illegal dumping to occur.
Currently, our one enforcement officer investigates about 75 complaints of illegal dumping annually. We need the public's support to maintain an effective program. Help protect our natural resources and help us keep garbage in its place; if you see illegal dumping occurring, call us.
Report Illegal Dumping
1- 800- 605- 6649