Put a Halt to Illegal Dumping

Illegal dumping is a problem on desert lands, especially those close to the urban areas throughout the southwest.  Growing up in the western Mojave, I know the areas around the Victor Valley and Antelope Valley have dealt with illegal dumping for a while.  Instead of taking trash to a landfill or other materials to proper recycling centers, a small minority of people would rather trash our open space, often taking a pick-up full of trash a half-mile or so down a dirt road to discard their waste in the desert, showing complete disrespect for the desert and their neighbors.  You can report illegal dumping to county authorities (Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, or Kern County.)  You can also contact municipal code enforcement offices that might have jurisdiction over parcels of land within city limits, such as this site for Apple Valley Code Enforcement.

This illegal dump site was discovered northeast of Saddelback Butte State Park in the western Mojave Desert between Palmdale and El Mirage.
There are consequences for those who get caught.  In addition to being cited and fined, in some towns you can have your vehicle confiscated. If the illegal dumping is being committed by a business or contractor, they can probably say goodbye to their business license. Neighbors reporting illegal dumpers have helped capture illegal dumpers throughout the Victor Valley, and investigators have used surveillance, and clues in the discarded trash to identify culprits in other cases.   If stopping people from trashing our lands is not incentive enough, folks in San Bernardino County can get up to $1,000 for tipping off authorities.

Death Valley Jim--a fellow friend of the desert with a beautiful website that focuses on the history of the region--brought attention to specific cases of dumping in California City, which is just north of Edwards Air Force Base and near the Desert Tortoise Natural Area.  His photos can be viewed on his facebook page.

Other than reporting illegal dump sites, there is another thing we can do -- participate in community clean-ups.  Check with your local code enforcement or public works office to see if they are organizing one.


  1. Thank you for posting this. I'll be making contact with the places you gave me phone numbers for. -DVJ


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