Keeping Our Canal System Clean
Discarding of vegetative debris or other trash in the Lake Worth Drainage District (LWDD) canals or along the rights-of-way is illegal. Under the “Florida Litter Law” Florida Statute 403.413, dumping materials on public or private property is punishable by fine and potential jail time. Within LWDD’s service area, illegally dumped items are largely non-hazardous solid wastes that are inconvenient or costly to dispose of properly. Typical litter items include household trash, furniture, appliances, tires and vegetative debris from lawn maintenance and tree trimming. Offenders most often include residents and construction and landscape contractors.
Some of the negative effects of illegal dumping can impact public safety, the surrounding environment, and the local economy. For example, using a drainage canal as a dump site can reduce the flood control capacity of the canal and threaten the safety of residents. Additionally, trash dumped on the canal right-of-way can impede access needed for regular maintenance or emergency response during severe weather. While landfills are designed to prevent waste from leaching into the ground or adjacent waterbody, this is not true for illegal dumping which may adversely impact the surrounding area. Finally, dumping is an eyesore and governments must redirect resources to clean-up materials and provide pollution mediation.
If you witness an illegal dumping incident in progress, call your local law enforcement agency or 911. Catching dumpers in the act is the best way for police to apprehend offenders and deter future violations. Never confront someone who is dumping. Instead, try to get the vehicle license number and description of the vehicle used to commit the crime. Most importantly, share this information with your neighbors and encourage them to always dispose of yard waste and trash properly. For more information on the proper disposal of trash visit Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County.