Report Illegal Dumping
The links below are intended to provide guidance regarding who to contact to report illegal dumping and other garbage related complaints.
Illegal Dumping as it Occurs
If you witness illegal dumping as it is occurs, make sure to call local law enforcement (for unincorporated areas, call the Sheriff's non-emergency number, 925-646-2441) immediately and report all relevant details (date/time, location, description of vehicle and driver, etc.) to allow for appropriate follow-up in the most timely manner.
Potentially Hazardous Material Spill or Dumping
To report potentially hazardous materials which have been dumped or spilled, contact the County Health Services Department - Hazardous Materials Division at 925-335-3200 (during business hours) or 925-335-3232 (24-hour hotline for emergencies only).
Debris on Public Roads
To report debris that has been dumped on a public road, it is important to first identify whether the section of road is within a city or in the unincorporated area of the County.
- If the debris is located on a public road within a city, contact that city (links to the city websites are included at the bottom of this page).
- If the debris is located on a public road within the unincorporated area, contact the County Public Works Department - Road Maintenance Division at 925-313-7000.
Debris in Creeks
To report debris that has been dumped into a creek call the Contra Costa Clean Water Program hotline at 1-800-No-Dumping.
Contra Costa County, nineteen of its incorporated cities and the Contra Costa Flood Control & Water Conservation District joined together to form the Contra Costa Clean Water program (CCCWP). The CCCWP strives to eliminate stormwater pollution through public education, inspection and enforcement activities and industrial outreach.
Debris on Private Property or Vacant Lot
If the debris is located on property within a city, contact that city (links to the city websites are included at the bottom of this page).
If the debris is located on private property within the unincorporated area, contact the County Code Enforcement Program at 925-674-7210 or the County Health Services Department - Environmental Health Division at 925-692-2500.
The County Building Inspection Department takes the following actions in response to complaints of illegal dumping on vacant lots:
- (a) notify other County Departments of dumping as needed depending on the type of waste,
- (b) send written notice to the property owners requiring them to remove the waste from their property, and
- (c) if owner neglects to do so in prescribed time period, abate the dumping nuisance and recover the cost of abatement with a tax lien on the property. Additionally, the County Building Inspection Department administers the County's ordinance that allows the County to initiate the process to fence vacant lots that have had repeated instances of illegal dumping. The Building Inspection Division's Code Enforcement Complaint Form (PDF file) is available on-line.
The County Health Services Department - Environmental Health Division takes the following actions in response to complaints of illegal dumping and/or storage of garbage and debris on private property:
- (a) send written notice to the property owners requiring them to remove the waste from their property,
- (b) if owner neglects to do so in prescribed time period, abate the dumping nuisance and recover the cost of abatement with a tax lien on the property and
- (c) notify other enforcement agencies if multi-jurisdictional concerns have been identified. The Environmental Health Complaint Form can be submitted on-line.
Lack of Garbage Service
Garbage service is mandatory for all occupied residences located within the unincorporated areas (County Code Chapter 418-6), unless an exemption has been granted by the Health Officer. Additionally, some of the cities have made garbage service mandatory.
To report a residence that does not have garbage service, call the County Health Services Department - Environmental Health Division at 925-692-2500 or complete the online Environmental Health Complaint Form.
Unresolved Garbage/Recycling Collection Company Complaints
If you are unable to resolve a service complaint with your garbage/recycling collection company, you can contact the Department of Conservation and Development at 925-674-7203 and you will be referred to the appropriate governmental agency in your area.
How should I get rid of...
Recyclable building debris that is sorted by material type is generally accepted by more facilities and often at a lower cost; all permitted disposal facilities in the County accept non-hazardous building debris and some even provide for recycling.
Most used couches and mattresses are not accepted for reuse, so either take them to a permitted disposal facility or call your garbage company to see what they would charge for a special bulky pick-up.
Many consumer electronics, including all TVs & computer monitors, have been deemed as Universal Waste and are banned from landfill disposal in California due to their potentially toxic characteristics.
Before paying for extra disposal, make sure to recycle everything you can through your curbside recycling service and call your garbage company to find out about the one or more annual free extra waste pick-ups provided to households in most areas.
Bubble wrap, packing peanuts, working electronics, building materials, clothing, books, furniture, etc
Most tire retailers accept used tires for a fee, additionally they are accepted at permitted disposal facilities.
Paint, chemicals, fluorescent light bulbs, batteries, antifreeze, pesticides, etc.
Entire alphabetical listing of recyclable material types.