Illegal Dumping
Frequently Asked Questions

To report illegal dumping in McAllen contact:

City of McAllen Health & Code Enforcement (956) 681-1900 or
McAllen 3-1-1 Customer Service Call Center (956) 681-3111
Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Report online by clicking here

Q: What is illegal dumping?

A: Illegal dumping is the improper disposal of waste at any location other than a permitted landfill or special facility. It is against the law and can pose serious threats to our rivers, creeks, and the overall environment. It typically happens in open areas such as fields or empty lots, abandoned industrial sites, along rural roads, in wooded areas, near irrigation canals, in alleys, along railroads, and near storm drains or other drainage ditches in neighborhoods. Illegal dumping often happens late at night while people are asleep so as to avoid detection.

Q: What kinds of things are illegally dumped?

A: Examples of waste that are illegally dumped include:

  • construction and demolition debris (drywall, shingles, lumber, bricks, concrete, siding)
  • large appliances
  • abandoned vehicles, automobile parts and tires
  • old, used, or soiled furniture
  • leaf, brush, palm leaves, and grass clippings
  • household garbage
  • medical waste
  • Household hazardous waste products (cleaners, paint, motor oil, asbestos, etc.)

Q: Who typically dumps these things illegally?

A: Illegal dumpers can be anyone. Typical offenders can include:

  • construction contractors (demolition, remodelers, roofers, landscapers)
  • automobile repair employees or tire shop owners
  • trash hauling contractors
  • scrap collectors
  • do-it-yourself home renovators
  • local residents

 Q: Why do they dump these things illegally if it’s against the law?

A: Illegal dumpers may not be aware that what they are doing is illegal, or they may be trying to avoid costs and steps associated with proper disposal. Some will illegally dump materials in places where other dumping has previously happened. Sometimes, property owners will even try to earn some profit for themselves by charging others to dump on their properties, which is also illegal. Illegal dumping can also happen following clearing of properties for development – the owners may transfer clearing debris such as rocks, wood, or earth to fill low areas on their property without getting required permits.

Q: What are the effects of illegal dumping in our rivers, canals, drain ditches, and irrigation canals?

A: Debris and chemicals which are illegally dumped directly into rivers, creeks, and nearby areas can pollute and destroy the health of the water and the native fish, plant, and animal species which depend on it. The pollutants can also make the water unsafe for human use and consumption. Debris and chemicals from illegally dumped items can attract rodents and insects, which in turn can create breeding grounds in stagnant water for mosquitoes and harmful bacteria. Debris can also impact drainage and water flow, increasing the risk of flooding and further pollution.

Q:  Are cameras available to monitor the illegal dump site?

A:  Yes, there are cameras available and on a rotating schedule throughout the city.

Q:  Where may I place or where is the proper area to place items?

A:  Check your neighborhood pick-up schedule and separate items by brush piles or bulky waste.  Place items on the week of collection and in the area where the black and blue bins are set out for collection.  Items must be separated and at least 3 feet from any meters or fencing. 

B:  McAllen residents can drop off items at no cost by simply showing a current utility bill at the City of McAllen Recycling Center located at 4101 North Bentsen Rd. Allowed items for drop-off include; furniture, carpet, bulky toys, wood, tires, and appliances. For detailed information, please call 956.681.4050.

Residents can also drop off items at the City of Edinburg Landfill, 8601 Jasman Road Edinburg 956-381-5652.  McAllen Residents are required to bring Valid Texas ID along with a most current utility bill. Charge to drop-off include $11.67 per cubic yard with a minimum fee of $25 dollars.

C:  Dumpsters from the City of McAllen Public Works (for brush only) can be requested by residents on a first come, first serve basis.

D:  Project Clean Neighborhoods is designed to assist in helping to clean and beautify neighborhoods. Dumpsters will be provided at no cost so that citizens may dispose of any broken appliances, bulky items, trash, or debris. Construction material, food waste, or dangerous chemicals will not be accepted.  For more information call Keep McAllen Beautiful 956-681-4562.

Q: Who to Call

A: To report illegal dumping in McAllen contact the City of McAllen Health & Code Enforcement at (956) 681-1900 or call the McAllen 3-1-1 Customer Service Call Center at 681-3111, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Q:  How do I request an Illegal Dumping Sign from the City?

A:  Call the Health & Code Enforcement (956) 681-1900

Q:  What are the consequences for illegal dumping?

A:  Consequences include a citation to appear at the City of McAllen Municipal Court.  Fines are up to $500.00.