Think Before You Dump: Guide to the Laws and Penalties About Illegal Dumping

illegal dumping

In 2016, the City of Chicago alone spent $1.5 million cleaning up unlawfully-disposed waste. All that trash collected from 4,000 illegal dump spots weighed a total of 32,000 tons.

What’s even worse is that many of these dumped items are hazardous. So, not only do they contribute to land and air pollution, but they can also result in health problems.

That’s why you must know how the State of Illinois defines illegal dumping. This way, you can avoid breaking the law, or, in case someone dumps trash on your property, make them liable.

Ready to learn all about unlawful dumping in the Prairie State? Then let’s get this guide started!

What Is Illegal Dumping?

Illegal dumping also goes by the name “fly dumping.” Either way, it’s the act of dumping any kind of waste material or trash on public or private property. Such activities do not have permission from the Department of Public Health.

Is Unlawful Dumping Considered a Criminal Activity?

Unlawful trash dumping is a violation of the Environmental Protection Act (415 ILCS 5/). Such illegal activities can either be a Class A misdemeanor or a more severe Class 4 felony.

There are also specific classifications of illegal dumping on private properties in Illinois. For instance, the state may charge first-time offenders with a Class B misdemeanor. The second offense would become a Class A misdemeanor, while a third will be a Class 4 felony.

On top of all these are the local city, county, or municipality ordinances. Chicago, for instance, is very active when it comes to prosecuting illegal dumpers. It’s a joint effort between the CPD, the CDPH, and the Department of Streets and Sanitation.

Why Is Illegal Dumping Such a Big Deal?

There are many causes of land pollution, but illegal waste disposal is one of the primary ones. However, they have a more profound impact than just being unsanitary. Environmental elements can degrade these wastes and cause them to leach toxic substances.

The poisonous compounds that they introduce to the soil can then affect vegetation. When it rains, the chemicals mix with rainwater and contaminate water formations too. In addition, people can get sick when exposed to such dangerous substances.

Much of the waste in dumpsites are also combustible, and when they do catch fire, the flames can be hard to control. There are even cases of “spontaneous combustion” in secured landfills. If these occur in legitimate facilities, they’re more likely in unguarded dumpsters.

Illegal dumpsites are also a haven for vermin and pest. Malaria- and dengue-bringing mosquitoes, for instance, can start breeding in these spots. In fact, about 2,000 new cases of malaria occur in the US every year.

These are just a few of the dangers that illegal dumping activities can result in. However, they should be enough for you to understand why it’s such a huge deal to the authorities.

What Are the Penalties That Illegal Dumpers Face?

On a state-level, illegal dumpers must pay a fine of no less than $500. Misdemeanor charges can also come with up to 300 hours of required community service. Class 4 felonies are much more severe, as they can have an additional fine of up to $25,000 per day of violation.

If the charges include littering, it’s also possible to face a jail term of one up to three years.

On a local level, Chicago has among the most stringent laws regarding illegal dumping. The city imposes a $1,500 minimum fine, plus imprisonment for up to six months for the first offense.

In addition, Chicagoland typically requires offenders up to 200 hours of community service. If the perpetrator uses a vehicle to move the trash to the dumpster, then that car would get impounded. The motor vehicle’s owner would have to pay for all the impoundment fees.

Also, note that Chicago takes illegal dumping so seriously that it runs a reward program. This encourages residents to be active in watching out for and reporting dumpers. Qualified reporters can then receive a $100 award from the municipal government.

The Role of the Municipal or City Garbage Collectors

The local garbage collectors are there to pick up any regular household waste. The keyword here is “regular,” so there are still limits to what they can collect, even if the items come from your home. They will, however, take away stuff like food left-overs, grass, plastic, glass, and paper.

What the garbage collection team won’t pick up are household hazardous wastes (HHW). These are usually chemicals like paints, varnishes, oils, batteries, pesticides, and cleaners. Even expired medications shouldn’t go into your trash bags.

Also, most municipalities have regulations on electronic waste (e-waste). City collectors often don’t pick up anything that runs on battery or electricity.

Your Special Waste Disposal Options

If you’re planning a home or even just a room decluttering project, you’re likely to end up with a lot of HHW. You’ll have even more trash to deal with if you’re about to carry out home improvements or repairs. All these activities can create humongous amounts of junk and waste materials.

In such cases, consider working with a professional cleaning and disposal service. These are experts not only when it comes to cleanouts but also the actual removal of waste from your home. They’ll even help you figure out which furniture or electronics you can sell or recycle.

Most importantly, these professionals carry proper waste disposal licenses. They will make sure your household waste never ends up in an illegal dumpster. They will also utilize appropriate handling procedures for hazardous wastes.

Proper Waste Disposal Helps Make the World a Cleaner Place

As you can see, illegal dumping is so detrimental to humans and the environment. That’s why states and local ordinances exist, and also why such laws are very stringent.

So, do yourself and the rest of the world a favor: be sure to practice proper waste disposal. If you see anyone in the act of dumping stuff illegally, report it to the authorities.

If you need help cleaning out your home and hauling away junk, know that the Orange Crew can come to your rescue. Please feel free to get in touch with us so we can assist you with all your waste disposal needs!

Don’t Leave a Mess: 8 Reasons Why You Should Enlist in a Move Out Cleaning Service

move out cleaning

Time to move out of your stuffy old house and start your new life in your dream home. Between packing for the moving process and trying to clean so you don’t lose your security deposit, you’re beyond stressed. 

That’s why you should stop what you’re doing and hire a move out cleaning service to handle the hard work for you. They’re equipped with all the tools needed to get the job done in the most effective manner possible.

The best part of all, it won’t cost as much as you think it would. Still not sure if a cleaning service is right for you? Check out this guide to learn more.

1. It’s More Thorough 

Unless you’re a professional cleaner yourself or have some kind of cleaning experience, you’re bound to miss something during the process. Even if you do make a move out cleaning checklist. 

It may be less that you forget something and more that you just don’t have the equipment that’s needed to clean every nook and cranny of your home. Both these factors aren’t a problem with move out cleaning services. 

2. You May Damage Something

There’s a piece of stubborn food that won’t come off the stove no matter how much you scrub. Unfortunately for the piece of food (and your stove), you’re stubborn too so you keep going at it. 

In the end, you get the food off but your stove has a couple of scratches on it. There goes any possibility of you getting your security deposit back. Hiring a cleaning service will help you avoid this scenario. 

They’ll know how to remove annoying stuck-on food and lingering stains without doing any damage to your appliances.  

3. The New Tenants Will Be Happy

Sure, you’ll never meet the new tenants but you don’t want them to walk into their house and think that the last person who lived there was a slob. Besides, it’s only common courtesy that you leave your apartment looking the same way it did when you moved in. 

The landlord will clean up somewhat before the new person moves in but they may miss something. Now both of you look bad. 

4. It Saves Time 

Move out cleaning takes a while. It’s hard to find time to do it when you’re also trying to get everything packed so you can move out. With a cleaning company taking care of this work, it frees you up to do other things. 

You can now pack, look for a moving company, clean your new house, and move your belongings into the new house without having to worry about anything else. 

5. Cuts Your Stress in Half 

Speaking of worrying, being freed up to perform your other moving duties is a huge stress reliever. Moving is one of the most anxiety-inducing things you can do. 

You’re always running around, you’ve got to make phone call after phone call, make payment arrangements for the new place, set up utilities, cancel utilities at your old place, and of course, prepare your family mentally to live in a new area. It’s a lot. 

Let a cleaning company take care of this one thing so you can check it off your move out cleaning checklist and breathe a sigh of relief. 

6. It Will Please the Landlord 

Your landlord will be pretty impressed that you went the extra mile to have a cleaning service come to take care of things. This means that they might be a little less strict about the state of your apartment. 

Those are some extra brownie points that will be nice if you want to be able to get your security deposit back. 

7. You’ll Get Your Security Deposit Back 

When you first move into an apartment or house and have to cough up a security deposit it’s best to consider that money a loss. Something that you won’t get back because landlords are a little strict. Still, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t at least make the attempt to get it back

If you punch a hole in the wall or your dog chews up the carpet nothing can really fix that. If all that’s wrong with the place is a little dirt and grime though, a cleaning service will have you covered.

They’ll get your place sparkling clean and you’ll get your security deposit back in your hand to put toward stuff for the new house. 

8. It doesn’t Cost as Much as You Would Think 

If what’s stopping you from hiring a service is the price, don’t worry about it. It’s more affordable than you may think. It all depends on how large your unit is. For a one-bedroom house or an apartment, you’ll spend a little over a hundred bucks or so for a good deep clean.   

Considering that most security deposits are at least three hundred dollars if hiring a service allows you to get that back, the cleaning job will pay for itself. 

Enlist in Move Out Cleaning Services Today 

Before you can officially move out of your old house, you’ll need to clean things up. If you leave your house or apartment as is, there’s no way you’ll get your security deposit back. Besides, it’s rude to the landlord and the new tenant. 

You can do the cleaning yourself but with all the packing you’ll be doing, it’s a lot of added stress. That’s why you should hire our move out cleaning crew to do the job for you! Contact us to get started.  

How to Declutter Your Room: 7 Tips for Cutting Out Bedroom Clutter

how to declutter your room

It doesn’t take much for a bad habit to become a tradition. Throw your dirty laundry on the bedroom floor at the end of a bad day, and it’ll be that much easier to do it again. After all, you’ve already got a nice pile going.

But clutter isn’t just unsightly. Studies show it can lead to poor eating habits and exacerbate mental stress. No wonder it’s so hard to find the motivation you need to clean up the culprit.

By reading this article, you’re already well on your way to a cleaner, more positive future. Don’t let a messy bedroom hold you back. Here’s how to declutter your room. 

1. Choose Aesthetic Storage Solutions

Oftentimes, clutter takes shape when we have too many possessions and nowhere to store them. With plenty of storage space available, it’d be much easier to put everything away and find anything you need when the time comes.

The hard part is finding storage solutions that are both functional and fetching. But you don’t need to keep several transparent bins under your bed to amp up your storage space. Nowadays, you can find decorative fabric containers that come in many colors and designs.

This way, you can tuck everything away in plain sight without turning your bedroom into a storage unit.

2. Make the Most of Your Closet

Not everyone has a walk-in closet with space for hundreds of outfits you’ll only wear once. Most of the time, a closet is little more than a clothing rack and a single shelf.

It’s hard to use that space efficiently. Get up and open your closet. Is there space above and below your clothing?

If so, you found more room to tuck your clutter away. Make use of the vertical space by installing a shelving unit. And get your hands on some decorative, stackable baskets to optimize the ground level of the closet, too.

3. Don’t Declutter All at Once

If things have really gotten out of hand, getting rid of clutter could take you several hours or more. That’s a daunting task for anyone. In fact, it may be enough to make you procrastinate cleaning up in the first place.

Even the most demanding tasks can be accomplished when they’re split into smaller sessions. Every weekend, make it a habit to spend 10 or 15 minutes decluttering a few things in your bedroom.

Maybe the desk or dresser is a mess. Prioritize that for the week, and next weekend you can worry about your disorganized closet. Take things one step at a time.

Within a month, your bedroom will be a minimalist paradise. Best of all, it won’t feel like you’ve done anything to make it happen.

4. Decide What Needs to Go

Decluttering isn’t a fancy term for organizing. It also entails letting things go. And for many, departing of any possession can be a significant mental challenge.

But for the good of your mental health, you’ll need to cut ties with at least some of your belongings. It could be an old shirt with sentimental value from high school, or a broken smartphone you stubbornly wish to keep because it cost you hundreds a few years ago.

Throwing things away isn’t easy. But consider that holding on to old artifacts is stopping you from creating sentimental attachments to new ones.

If you need help filtering trash from treasure, take a look at our spring cleaning guide.

5. Organize the Dressers, Too

Although you may not see the mess inside your dresser drawers and other storage containers, that doesn’t mean it’s not there. In this instance, the old adage “out of sight, out of mind” doesn’t apply.

Organize your drawers as best you can. If your drawers don’t have compartments, a small strip of wood can keep things divided and neat.

While you’re cleaning things up, this is also a great opportunity to dust the insides and refold any clothing that’s been sitting wrinkled at the bottom of the drawers.

6. Rotate Seasonal Items

Bulky winter jackets and boots don’t have a place in summer weather. So why keep them out? If you don’t have room for them in your bedroom closet, stuff them away in your attic or basement to save on precious space.

Look beyond clothing, too. Things like heavy duty bedsheets may look nice, but there’s no way you’re going to use them unless you’ve got your AC pumping all summer long. 

7. Clean Everything

Getting rid of clutter is an achievement all in itself. But if you’ve had a mess sitting around for anything longer than a week, you’re not quite done.

Take advantage of the empty space by pulling out the vacuum and dust cloth. Get under the bed, clean the carpet, dust the shelving — leave no space unwashed.

And if you’re going to be selective with your cleaning duties, give your full attention to the mattress. Wash all the sheets, pillowcases included, and clean the mattress yourself while you’re at it.

From allergies to bacteria, there are plenty of reasons why you should clean your bedroom on a regular basis. 

That’s How to Declutter Your Room…

…unless it’s a real mess. You can’t declutter if your house is filled with junk that needs to be thrown away. In many areas, leaving an old fridge or a giant pile of unwanted items on the curbside is against city regulations.

The garbage men won’t be happy about that. And you won’t either! That’s how to declutter your room the wrong way.

Instead, rely on junk removal experts to clean up the mess for you. In addition to the heavy lifting, Orange Crew will recycle and donate your junk as part of our sustainability campaign. Take a look at our services for all your Chicagoland junk removal needs.