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To report an illegal dump site, please call (505) 314-0310.

Illegal Dumping SignIllegal dumping is disposal of waste in an unpermitted area, usually in an open area, from vehicles along roadsides and late at night. Materials typically include construction and demolition waste, abandoned automobiles, auto parts and scrap tires, appliances, furniture, yard waste and household trash.

Sites used for illegal dumping vary but may include abandoned industrial, residential or commercial buildings, vacant lots on public or private property and infrequently used alleys or roadways. Because of their accessibility and poor lighting, areas along rural roads and railways are particularly vulnerable. If not addressed, illegal dumps often attract more waste, potentially including hazardous wastes such as asbestos, household chemicals and paints, automotive fluids and commercial or industrial wastes.

Who is your typical illegal dumper? There is no one profile, but offenders have included construction, demolition, remodeling, roofing and landscaping contractors; waste management companies and general hauling contractors; automobile repair and tire shops; scrap collectors; local residents and "do it yourselfers". 

Illegal Dump Site

Hazards and Negatives Associated with Illegal Dumping

Health Risks

  • Drinking water quality issues related to non-point source pollution (especially in areas with private wells)
  • Flooding caused by debris/wastes that clog drainage ditches and waterways
  • Habitat/breeding grounds for disease-carrying vectors
  • Indirect exposure to toxic chemicals/hazardous wastes
  • Inhaling pollutants carried by smoke from open burning (“burn barrels”, etc.) and dump fires
  • Direct contact exposure to sharp objects, medical wastes, caustic substances, and fire (especially a risk for children playing in the area)

Environmental Risks

  • Groundwater and surface water contamination
  • Air pollution
  • Impact on wildlife and aquatic habitat

Financial Costs

  • Financial burden on taxpayers and utility ratepayers
  • Diversion of local staff and equipment resources from other local public needs (public works staff, police, public attorneys)
  • Increased law enforcement costs
  • Increased administrative costs
  • Private sector business costs
  • Private property owner cleanup costs
  • Property devaluation and potential loss of opportunities to develop land and attract additional business opportunities (such as tourism)
  • Lost disposal revenues at permitted public and private disposal facilities (illegally dumped waste bypasses billing system)
  • Reduced local government tax revenue from less successful permitted private disposal facilities (wastes bypassing billing system)

Aesthetic Costs

  • Offensive sights and smells
  • Negative perceptions of community values of residents
  • Negative perceptions of capital investment value by potential new businesses

4 Steps to Stop Illegal Dumping in Bernalillo County

  1. Call the county Health Protection office  at (505) 314-0310.
  2. Have available the address of the location where the trash is or dumping is occurring.
  3. Be able to assess what type of trash or substance is on the property.
  4. Be prepared to give your name and phone number in case property cannot be located.

The Process

  • A County Health Protection inspector will go out to confirm exact location of the property and assess what is there.
  • The Health Protection office will notify the property owner and hold them accountable for the clean up.
  • Property owner will be given a 30-day notice to clean up, or a criminal complaint will be filed.

Below is a list of frequently used numbers you may call to help dispose of unwanted items or trash or for reporting:

Abandoned Cars
City Code Enforcement: (505) 924-3850, County Zoning: (505) 314-0350

New Mexico Air Quality Bureau: (505) 476-4300

Dead Animals
City Animal Control: 768-1975, County Animal Care: (505) 314-0280
For dead livestock: NM Services (505) 877-6789, (cattle & horses only, must call within 24 hours);
Torrance County landfill, (505) 705-5101 - Joe Ellis

Illegal Dumping
City Code Enforcement: (505) 924-3850, County: (505) 314-0310

Irrigation Ditches
Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District: (505) 247-0234

Junk Mobile Homes
County Planning & Development Services: (505) 314-0350


Don Reservoir, 117 114th Street SW
Eagle Rock, 6301 Eagle Rock Road NE
Cerro Colorado(ABQ Landfill)
East Mountain Transfer Station, 711 Old HWY 66 (505) 281-9110

Yard Waste
FREE curbside pick-up twice a year, once in spring and once in fall.  Look for dates of collection in your spring and fall billing.

Household Hazardous Waste (FREE)
Paint, pesticides, cleaning solvents, batteries, etc.
Advanced Chemical Transport (ACT), 6137 Edith Blvd. NE (505) 349-5220

Large Item Pick-up
Free to county residents: (505) 892-1200
Call one week before your scheduled pick up day - appliances, furniture, etc.

Five gallon per day in any container
Auto Zone, 2627 Isleta Blvd SW (505) 873-9099; East Mountain Transfer Station, 711 Old Hwy 66, (505) 281-9110

Bio-Pappel, 4600 Williams St SE (505) 873-0440 - paper & cardboard only
Friedman Recyling,5049 Edith NE (602) 269-9324 - paper & cardboard only
Master fibers, 5109-B Edith NE (505) 345-6423 - paper & cardboard only
ACE Metals, PO Box 3903 NE (877-1092) Metal & Tin
​New Mexico Computer Recyclers, 5445 Edith NW (505) 401-6911

Solid Waste Convenience Centers

South Side (Montessa Park) 873-6607, 512 Los Picaros Rd SE 
(Sun-Sat, 8am -5pm)

West Side (Don Reservoir) 836-8757, 117 114th St SW 
(Sun-Sat, 8am -5pm)

North Side (Eagle Rock) 857-2918, 6301 Eagle Rock Rd NE 
(Sun-Sat, 8am -5pm)

East Side (East Mountain Transfer Station) 281-9110 
(Sun -Sat, 7am -5:15pm)

To Report Litter

City Code Enforcement: 924-3850 County: 314-0310 State: 841-9450 KAFB: 846-3645

For More Information Call: 452-8525

South Valley Clean Environment Campaign (Rio Grande Community Development Corporation, Kalpulli Izkalli, and SouthWest Organizing Project)
South Valley Partners for Environmental Justice Community Advisory Committee
Funded in part by the South Valley Partners for Environmental Justice, National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences # 1R25ES10494-01A1

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