Litter & Illegal Dumping

The Unified Government SOAR program, in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office, Commission, and 13 other departments, is working to put a LID on Litter & Illegal Dumping. This cross-departmental group began convening in January 2020 and has made a lot of progress so far. View staff's August 2020 presentation to Standing Committee to learn more.
 

How You Can Help:

  1. Report - $250 reward available for eligible witnesses of illegal dumping (and graffiti too!)
    • If you catch someone in the act of illegally dumping, please call 911.
      • If you feel comfortable, you can try to take identifying photos or information, such as license plates, business logos, etc. Please remember that your safety is the first priority. 
      • Taking these steps might make you eligible for a reward!
    • If you find illegally dumped materials, please report to 311. You can:
      • Call 913-573-5311
      • Submit a concern online
      • Use the myWyco app - search "myWyco" on any app store
  2. Get Involved & Pick Up Litter - The UG encourages everyone to pick up litter around their neighborhoods on a regular basis to keep our community beautiful, safe, and healthy.  We also have multiple programs to facilitate community cleanup events, including:
    • Adopt-A-Spot - "Adopt" a spot and get a sign with your name on it in exchange for holding 3 cleanup events a year. 
    • The Flash Trash Mob - Join the Mayor's Flash Trash Mob group on Facebook to participate in cleanup events happening throughout the community. 
    • Budget Dumpster - Though not an official UG program, Budget Dumpster's dumpster donation program helps organizations like ours with charitable projects and community cleanup efforts. Complete this form to request a free dumpster for your event. Once your request is approved, they'll provide you with a trash removal solution.
  3. Sponsor a No Dumping Sign 
    • For just $60, you, your family, and/or your community group can sponsor a No Dumping sign(PDF, 1MB) near you.  For an additional $20, you can even choose to add your group’s name below the sign if you like! Please contact Vincent Billaci at vbillaci@wycokck.org or 913-573-8340 if you’re interested or want to learn more.
  4. Dispose of Waste Properly - Learn more at wycokck.org/waste or through our new OpenForm

What the U.G. is Doing:

This is a non-exhaustive list that is constantly progressing.

  1. Enforcement – The Police Department is actively pursuing illegal dumping cases. Violators can be fined up to $2,500.
  2. Improved Tracking – Staff streamlined the way dumpsites are tracked so we have a better idea of where dumping occurs.
  3. Policy Changes – Not only is there now a $250 reward available for eligible witnesses, but staff is also considering other policy recommendations to curb litter and dumping. One successful policy change is to require automotive businesses to maintain record of their proper disposal of tires.
  4. Communication - This webpage is one way staff is trying to get the word out about litter and dumping. Staff also writes articles for the Citizen newsletter and E-News, is working to install No Dumping signs with the help of community members, and hopes to use even more communciation methods in the future. 

Why It Matters:

  1. Cost - The UG spends between $70-$755 on average to clean up each dumpsite. Only halfway through 2020, the UG had already spent nearly $30,000 on these cleanups. These are your tax dollars that could be spent on other things if not for illegal dumping and littering in our community.
  2. Quality of Life - Litter and dumping negatively affect resident quality of life in various ways.
    • Appearance - When people feel a space is more beautiful, they’re less likely to discard trash and items illegally. In addition, addressing littering and dumping in our neighborhoods will create spaces that people are proud to maintain.
    • Safety - Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) shows that enhancing the built environment decreases crime and makes people feel safer.
    • Communication - Improving communication helps residents understand the importance of eliminating litter and dumping and brings neighbors together to help improve our community
  3. WyCo Residents Believe this is Important - 2020 resident satisfaction survey results showed that many Wyandotte County
    residents think this is an important issue to address. 
    • 50% of respondents believe Illegal Dumping is a problem in neighborhoods
    • 37% of respondents are dissatisfied with the clean-up of junk/trash/debris city-wide
    • 30% are dissatisfied with the clean-up of junk/trash/debris in neighborhoods
    • 49% of respondents chose “clean-up of junk/trash/debris city-wide” as 1 of their top 3 choices of codes and ordinances to receive the most emphasis over the next 2 years
    • 32% chose “clean-up of junk/trash/debris in neighborhoods” as 1 of their top 3 choices of codes and ordinances to receive the most emphasis over the next 2 years

How to Dispose of Unwanted Items:

Litter is ugly... but why else is it bad?