Illegal Dumping


M adera County spends approximately $750,000 to $1 million per year collecting roughly 1,500 tons of  illegally dumped material.  Do your part to deposit trash in its proper place so that these funds will be directed to vital community services. Learn more about the hazards of illegal dumping here:It is illegal to dump trash on roadsides, vacant lots, in canals, along creek banks, or in open space areas. Fines for illegal dumping can range from $250 to $1,000.

Illegal dumping  of trash presents a very serious danger to our water supply. Any substance that can dissolve, disintegrate, or seep into the ground from these illegal dumping site will make travel to our water supply. For residents using well water, these toxic substances could be in their water and causing health problems. When we pollute our water, we are threatening our health and the environment.

Illegal dumping sites are frequent sites for fire, either by spontaneous combustion or by arson. Discarded chemicals from households and farms can also emit toxic smoke.

Rain water collects in abandoned trash and creates a breeding ground for mosquitoes, which could potentially transmit West Nile Virus.  Trash provides a habitat for rodents, feral cats, and other pests. These animals may also carry and spread dangerous diseases.

In addition to the danger of the insects and animals who make a home from trash sites, illegally dumping trash and unwanted materials will cause property values to decline. These items will eventually be picked up, although hazardous substances from abandoned trash may contaminate the soil, requiring expensive cleanup by landowners.

If you encounter an illegal dump in your area, please report it to the Sheriff’s Department, (559) 642-3201, Madera County Public Works, (559) 675-7811, or to the Bass Lake Ranger District (559) 877-2218.



Illegal Dumping

Backyard Burning

Backyard burning is the burning of trash by residents on their own property. Paper, cardboard, food scraps, plastics, yard trimmings, furniture, and more are being burned instead of being recycled or sent to a landfill where the trash may be properly disposed of. Burning occurs in a burn barrel, homemade burn box, wood stove, outdoor boiler, or open pit. Dangerous air emissions from backyard burning are released directly to the atmosphere without being treated or filtered.

These toxic air emissions include: dioxins, particle pollution, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, and ash. When breathed in, these chemicals may cause common health problems such as altered fundamental growth and development, a weakened immune system, asthma, bronchitis, heart attacks, cancer, brain damage, nose and throat irritation, kidney disease, liver disease, headaches, nose bleeds, and respiratory failure.

There are options to dispose of your trash in a safe way:

  • Fairmead Land Fill in Chowchilla is open Monday through Friday 8am to 4:30 pm and Saturdays 7am to 2:30 pm.
  • North Fork Transfer Station is open Thursday through Monday 9am to 5pm.
    • North Fork now accepts Sharps.
  • Red Rock Environmental Group
  • EMADCO Disposal, INC.
  • Free Tire Disposal Days – Free to Madera County residents

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