Briefing Room: illegal dumping increases slightly in city of Seal Beach

Logo courtesy of Seal Beach PD

Dealing with unnecessary trash is more work for police, Public Works

Courtesy photo
Pictured above is an example of illegal dumping.

Hi Seal Beach!

I hope you had a very nice and safe 4th of July.

Lately, we’ve seen a slight increase in illegal dumping in Seal Beach. What is illegal dumping? Essentially it is the unauthorized disposal or garbage, waste, and other matter on public or private property.

California Penal Code §374.3 states “(a)?It is unlawful to dump or cause to be dumped waste matter in or upon a public or private highway or road, including any portion of the right-of-way thereof, or in or upon private property into or upon which the public is admitted by easement or license, or upon private property without the consent of the owner, or in or upon a public park or other public property other than property designated or set aside for that purpose by the governing board or body having charge of that property.”

If you are caught and convicted of illegal dumping, “(e)?A person convicted of a violation of this section shall be punished by a mandatory fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) upon a first conviction, by a mandatory fine of not less than five hundred dollars ($500) nor more than one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500) upon a second conviction, and by a mandatory fine of not less than seven hundred fifty dollars ($750) nor more than three thousand dollars ($3,000) upon a third or subsequent conviction. ?If the court finds that the waste matter placed, deposited, or dumped was used tires, the fine prescribed in this subdivision shall be doubled.” Additionally, “(f)?The court may require, in addition to any fine imposed upon a conviction, that, as a condition of probation and in addition to any other condition of probation, a person convicted under this section remove, or pay the cost of removing, any waste matter which the convicted person dumped or caused to be dumped upon public or private property.”

The Seal Beach Municipal Code also addresses illegal dumping. SBMC §6.20.145 states “No person shall burn, bury, dump or otherwise dispose of any solid waste or recyclables within the city.”

Now that we know what it is, we can discuss where it is happening. We’ve seen illegal dumping both at Edison Park (near the nursery) and Arbor Park, along with other areas of the city. Not only is this waste unsightly and potentially dangerous, but it also requires time and money for the PD to respond and investigate, and a lot of effort for Public Works to clean up someone else’s mess. Our partners at Public Works are busy enough, and they don’t need to pick up unnecessary trash.

Seal Beach, if you see someone acting suspiciously or unloading debris on public or private property, please call us right away. Our non-emergency number is (562) 594-7232.

And if you are considering dumping your trash on city property, think again. Our officers respond to these calls and will take enforcement action. It just isn’t worth it.