Illegal Dumping
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Illegal Dumping

What is Illegal Dumping?

Illegal dumping is any unwanted item dumped without permission on either private or public property. Illegal dumping threatens human health and the environment. It imposes significant costs on communities, and has an adverse effect on the quality of life. Illegal dumping is an issue the Department of Business and Neighborhood Services, the Department of Public Works, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and the Marion County Health and Hospital Department are continually working to eliminate in the city.

What do you do if you find illegal dumping?

Illegal dumping is a punishable offense. If you witness illegal dumping, please report it to the Mayor's Action Center at (317) 327-4MAC(4622), or through the RequestIndy website or app for smartphones. The Department of Business and Neighborhood Services employs Property Safety Inspectors who conduct investigations into illegal dumpsites. The Property Safety Inspectors work to find connections to the site and who did the dumping.

What do you do if see someone illegally dumping?

Should you see illegal dumping occurring, please take down as much information as you can and report it to the Mayor's Action Center at (317) 327-4MAC(4622), or through the RequestIndy website or app for smartphones. Details about the vehicle, license plate number and person doing the violation can help us find and fine the violators.

Illegal Dumping and Trash Abatement Program

When illegal dumping and trash accumulated on private property is reported to the Mayor's Action Center, BNS will send an inspector to inspect the location and perform an investigation, in an attempt to identify who dumped the materials. If the dumped materials or trash is located on private property, an affidavit and notification letter will be mailed to the property owner. If the dumped materials or trash is located on public property, the location will be referred to the Department of Public Works for cleanup.

If the property qualifies for the BNS ILD Abatement Assistance, BNS will provide clean-up services at no cost to the property owner. The details of the BNS ILD Abatement Assistance program can be found here. If the affidavit is not signed or the property owner fails to clean up the trash, clean-up will be performed by BNS contracted vendors and the property owner will be charged for all associated clean-up, waste disposal and administrative fees at a minimum rate of $393.

How to Request a Sign

Anyone can pick up a NO Dumping sign at the Department of Business and Neighborhood Services office, 1200 Madison Avenue, Suite 100, if you have a continuous problem with illegal dumping in your area. The office is open Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Wednesdays, the lobby is open from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and on Fridays it is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Each home can have up to two signs.

Together, we can eliminate illegal dumping in Indianapolis! There is a home for all of your unwanted waste as long as you can make sure our neighborhoods stay clean and safe.

Alternatives to Illegal Dumping

The City of Indianapolis offers Marion County residents alternatives to illegally dumping waste. Those options are:

Solid Waste Disposal

Within Marion County, trash is collected via DPW five days a week between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. To ensure proper pickup, on your collection day, place your trash in receptacles at the curb or in the alley before 7 a.m.

If your home is serviced by DPW crews, heavy trash is collected on a specific day each month. If your home is serviced by a private contractor, heavy trash can be placed by the curb once a month on any of your regular trash days.

If residents have concerns or questions about their trash pickup, they can call the Mayor’s Action Center at 327-4MAC (4622) or go online to Click on Neighborhood Services and then click on Department of Public Works to learn more about trash pickup.

Residents also are encouraged to take advantage of the Marion County Citizens’ Transfer Station at 2324 S. Belmont Ave. Residents can dispose of large amounts of household trash that they would not be able to dispose of through regular and/or heavy trash service.

  • Saturdays 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • The cost is $5 per truck load or $2 per car load. Vehicles can make two trips per day. No dual axles, trailers, permitted haulers or stake-bed trucks are allowed.


The City offers a free recycling program, where residents can drop off the following recyclable materials at any of the 27 drop-off sites around Marion County for materials such as:

  • Steel and aluminum beverage and food cans
  • Empty aerosol cans
  • Glass bottles & jars
  • #1 through #7 plastics (no white molded foam packaging please!)
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Phone books

For more information on this program, please call (317) 327-2987, or email

The City of Indianapolis also offers curbside recycling to all single family residences. It is on a subscription basis and has a nominal monthly fee. For more information or to sign up, please call the Mayor's Action Center at (317) 327-4622


Yard trimmings and food residuals together constitute 26 percent of the U.S. municipal solid waste stream. All of that waste can be used as compost for your yard/garden or community spaces like parks in Indianapolis. The City participates in composting organic waste in the following ways:

  • Christmas trees are chipped every year to make mulch for IndyParks landscaping.
  • Leaves collected around the City each fall are sent to South Side Composting and can be used by any Marion County resident for personal use. (2561 Kentucky Ave., 317-247-6808)
    Making your own home compost can be an economical and environmentally prudent way to deal with yard waste. The process produces material you can apply to enrich your soil and promote growth of plants and flowers. Here's how to set up home composting:
    • Build your own enclosure to a size appropriate for the amount of yard waste you deal with, or simply form a pile made up of grass clippings, dead leaves, weeds, tree prunings, etc.
    • Start with a layer of about six inches of waste.
    • Cover with one inch of top soil.
    • Repeat layers as needed, adding a small amount of lime or nitrogen fertilizer to each, if you like.
    • Make a dish-like area on the top layer and add water to make the mixture about as moist as a squeezed-out sponge.
    • Turn the whole pile over weekly, and check the natural heat it generates. The compost is ready to use when the temperature drops.
    The EPA website is a good resource for additional information on home composting.
    Yard waste also can be taken to:
    GreenCycle - Northeast 2695 Cicero Rd.
    GreenCycle - Northwest 4227 Perryworth Rd.
    GreenCycle - South 1103 W. Troy Ave.
    GreenCycle - West 494 S County Rd 200 E
    Musselman Farms and Landscape Supply 17505 Durbin Rd., Noblesville
    Ski Landscape 9786 E. 56th St.
    South Side Landfill 2561 Kentucky Ave.
    Worman Enterprises Organic Recycling 10150 Zionsville Rd.
    The City also conducts an annual Leaf Collection Program to help citizens dispose of the large number of leaves each fall. This program helps the Indianapolis/Marion County environment by turning the leaves into useable compost, offered free to citizens, to help strengthen and beautify lawns and gardens county-wide.
    City leaf collection program begins November 4, 2013, and runs through November 30, 2013.
    Fall Leaf Season Guidelines
    • Each household is permitted 40 bags of leaves for weekly disposal.
    • Place leaves in large plastic trash bags or specially-built large paper lawn-waste bags.
    • Place the leaf bags out by 7:00 a.m. on your regular trash day.
    • Separate your leaf pick-up from your regular trash. For example, put leaves on opposite side of driveway or use different colored bags and/or tie wraps.
    • Keep all leaf bags at least three feet away from cart collection areas to ensure DPW trucks can service the cart.
    • Make sure sewer inlets and drainage pipes are clear of leaves to avoid drainage problems.

Neighborhood Program

As part of the nation-wide Great American Clean-up, DPW’s solid waste services division partners with many neighborhood and Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB) to take part in the Great Indy Cleanup. These neighborhood clean-up events give residents the opportunity to spruce up their own part of town while DPW assists in providing heavy-equipment and dumpsters.

KIB’s Great Indy Cleanup is an anti-litter program designed to combat heavy litter and debris accumulated in public spaces such as streets, alleys, greenspaces and waterways.

You can coordinate a community cleanup any weekend from May through October. To request a community cleanup, contact KIB at