Pinal County Attorney Kent Volkmer announced in December a new program incentivizing residents to report illegal dumping incidents with cash awards.
These rewards are part of a “Keep Pinal Pristine” campaign led by his office and the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office to reduce the frequency of the problem, which has been fouling open deserts and commercial properties for decades.
“We wanted a one-stop-shop with all the information that people would need to do the right thing,” Volkmer said. “We are really excited and hopeful that this new program is going to cut down on illegal dumping and hold those that do dump accountable.”
A new web page at www.pinalcountyaz.gov/Pages/keep-pinal-pristine.aspx compiles links where people can leave tips on illegal dumping sites and learn about legal alternatives like county-operated disposal sites and services, free disposal days at landfills, and county cleanup events.
Those who report information to the county that leads to charges and a conviction will be eligible for a $500 cash reward drawn from a fund to be replenished by illegal dumping fines. Tips can be provided through the website or calling PCSO at 520.866.5111.
Officials want as many details as possible from people submitting tips, including videos or photos, witnesses, and/or names of individuals involved. The county prosecutes dumpers in all unincorporated areas, including San Tan Valley.
Too many open fields, washes, and vacant lots have turned into unsightly and environmentally hazardous dumping sites used by those unsure of what to do with old mattresses, appliances, furniture, tires, yard waste, construction waste, and every other type of refuge imaginable.
“It’s not just an eyesore for our counties and communities, it’s illegal,” Sheriff Mark Lamb said. Penalties for illegal dumping range from a $500 fine to 18 months in jail.
Pinal County District 2 Supervisor Mike Goodman said he’s fully behind the initiative, acknowledging the scale of the issue across Pinal County.
“I want to thank County Attorney Kent Volkmer for taking the lead on this initiative, as well as all our staff that put in the work behind the scenes to bring this to fruition,” he said.