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Illegal Dumping is a Significant Problem in Polk County

Illegal dumping is one of the biggest obstacles in the effort to “Keep Polk County Beautiful” … Through the Waste and Recycling division, the county provides residents with reasonable options to get rid of residential and commercial waste. Despite this, some people choose to illegally dump their trash on roadsides, other people’s property or on Polk County’s natural lands.

What is Illegal Dumping?

Illegal dumping can be anything from regular trash to much more hazardous waste materials. Our county is often littered with things like unwanted tires, old appliances, dangerous chemicals and construction debris. You name it, and you can likely find it where it’s not supposed to be in Polk County.

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Trash by the road from illegal dumping in Polk County Florida

Why Is It Important to Curb Illegal Dumping?

Polk County has many beautiful natural resources and parks, so when people leave trash and other debris, it impacts the natural beauty of Polk County. And, if one person dumps and it’s not immediately reported and cleaned up, more people will illegally dump waste where it doesn’t belong. This decreases property value and sometimes attracts crime. Illegal dumping also presents a health risk, as it becomes a breeding ground for insects and draws in disease-transmitting animals such as rats.

Polk County natural resources can also be directly affected. These environmental impacts include soil and water contamination. In a place like Polk County, where we take great pride in our lakes and protected environmental lands, this should concern every one of us. The animals and the birds, the trees and bodies of water we love so much depend on us to do the right thing.

What Can Be Done About Illegal Dumping?

First, don’t do it. Don’t be a part of the problem. And if you see illegal dumping, report it immediately at or (863) 534-6054.

Volunteers cleaning up trash from illegal dumping in Polk County

You also can get involved with the county-funded Keep Polk County Beautiful, Inc. (KPCB) program. KPCB is a non-profit organization that works with groups across the county to improve the aesthetic and ecological value of Polk through litter control and prevention, beautification, waste reduction, recycling and proper handling and disposal of solid waste. KPCB has recruited tens of thousands of volunteers and collected hundreds of thousands of pounds of litter and illegally dumped items through tire collection events, Adopt-a-Road programs, community and waterway cleanups, and more.

Visit or call (863) 875-8911 to learn more.

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