Trashy Texas Criminals Could Pay the Price for Using the Wrong Dumpster
No one likes litter. The signs all over Texas boldly proclaim, "Don't Mess With Texas." Sometimes when you're on the go it can be hard to find a trash can. In an effort to do the right thing, we've all been tempted to avoid littering by using a random unlocked dumpster outside an apartment complex or business. Even more often, many of us have have had a mattress or old tires to dispose of and had no idea where to dump it.
In Texas, that can be a costly mistake. Under Texas Penal Code 31.04, using someone else's dumpster without permission carries the same penalties as illegally dumping the same amount of solid waste.
The penalties are unbelievable. You could pay up to a $10,000 fine or spend up to two years in a state jail alongside murderers and rapists.
Using someone else's dumpster is a big problem, particularly for some apartment complexes. Many complexes report routine violators sneaking onto their property and using their dumpsters for questionable items. In fact, many are now secretly investing in surveillance cameras and other tech to catch people using dumpsters illegally.
No one wants to get a knock on the door from law enforcement with a summons to attend a criminal proceeding for something you have thrown away illegally.
Here in San Angelo, the city contracts with Republic services and the landfill is at 3002 Old Ballinger Highway. While bulk pickups are conducted regularly, there are certain items that cannot be picked up. It's important that you not dump these items which include, tires, hazardous wastes, roofing materials, propane tanks soil or rocks.
In addition the landfill cannot accept ballasts from florescent lights, auto batteries, burn barrels, anything containing refrigerants, explosives, liquid paint or petroleum products.
The next time you feel tempted to throw something away in an open dumpster, it might be a good idea to remember the penalties.