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State Agencies Join Forces Against Illegal Trash Dumping

A pickup truck with an attached trailer full of trash and discarded tires

More than 2,300 pounds of trash and debris was cleaned up at Taber State Forest./DNREC photo.

 

Natural Resources Police, DelDOT, DDA and DOC Clean up State Forest

Four state agencies recently teamed up to clean up more than 2,300 pounds of trash and debris illegally dumped and strewn at Taber State Forest in western Kent County – Delaware Natural Resources Police (DNRP), Department of Agriculture, Department of Transportation (DelDOT) and Department of Corrections (DOC).

The cleanup came about after the DNRP Environmental Crimes Unit (ECU) was alerted to illegal dumping activity within the state forest and surrounding area. Items dumped along the roadway and at the entrance to the state forest parking area included furniture, tires, household trash, animal carcasses and other debris. The roadway was also heavily inundated with litter.

“Since 2019, when Governor Carney launched the Keep DE Litter Free initiative to help reduce litter in Delaware, the Environmental Crimes Unit and other Delaware Natural Resources Police units have done our part to thwart illegal dumping across the state,” said ECU Chief Daniel Wood. “So far this year, Delaware Natural Resources Police have handled 95 dumping complaints, resulting in 24 arrests. Anyone arrested for illegal disposal of solid waste, dumping, and littering can expect to pay heavy fines if convicted.”

Under Delaware Code, those found guilty of the illegal disposal of solid waste face a minimum fine of $500 for each charge, with a maximum of $1,500. Violators may also be ordered to pay restitution to the state for costs of cleaning up illegally dumped waste and ordered to perform community service by removing solid waste that was illegally disposed.

Anyone found guilty of littering in Delaware will be fined a minimum of $50 and sentenced to up to eight hours of community service for a first-time offense. A person found guilty of illegal dumping faces a minimum fine of $500 and not less than eight hours of community service. Those found guilty of illegal dumping or littering along a Delaware Byway, in a state-owned park, state forest or wildlife area, or in a national wildlife refuge or on land administered by the United States Department of Interior National Park Service in the state of Delaware, face an additional $500 penalty.

Delaware Natural Resources Police units encourage Delawareans to make use of the Delaware Solid Waste Authority’s Facility Finder map to find locations where they can properly dispose of their solid waste. Residents can dispose of household garbage for as little as $1 per bag at one of DSWA’s collection stations, while bulk items can be taken to transfer stations or landfills with a pay-by-weight system.

Delaware residents and visitors to the First State alike are encouraged to report illegal dumping by calling DNREC’s 24-hour complaint line at 800-662-8802 or by submitting a complaint through the DENRP Tip 411 app.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly known as Twitter) or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Joanna Wilson, joanna.wilson@delaware.gov; Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

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