Kansas City Council approves new measures to combat illegal dumping


Kansas City, Missouri – The Kansas City Council approved multiple measures to combat illegal dumping in the community. Resolution No. 240456 and Ordinance No. 240458, sponsored by Councilmembers Crispin Rea and Melissa Patterson Hazley, focus on improving enforcement and increasing penalties for illegal dumping. Additionally, Ordinance No. 240445, sponsored by Councilmember Melissa Robinson, seeks to implement a thorough curbside refuse collection system and enhance regulations against illegal dumping in the city’s right-of-way.

Key Initiatives to Combat Illegal Dumping:

  1. Increased Enforcement and Monitoring:

    • The Neighborhood Services Department is expanding its team of investigators dedicated to enforcing illegal dumping regulations.
    • The City has acquired additional cameras to monitor high-risk areas for illegal dumping activities.
  2. Judicial and Operational Enhancements:

    • The Kansas City Municipal Court will establish a new docket specifically for illegal dumping cases, anticipating an increase in enforcement actions.
    • The Public Works Department has expanded opportunities to request a bulky item pickup with additional procured equipment.

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  1. Stricter Penalties for Offenders:

    • The City Council has increased penalties for illegal dumping on vacant lots, Land Bank properties, and unimproved parcels.

Administrative and Public Awareness Measures:

  • Administrative Regulation Development: The City Manager will create an administrative regulation with key performance indicators to ensure prompt response for illegal dumping. A report on the proposed regulation will be presented to the Council within 60 days.
  • Public Information Campaign: The City Manager will launch a public information campaign to educate residents on the new policies and penalties related to illegal dumping, and promote lawful disposal options for trash and bulky items.

Ordinance No. 240458 amends Chapter 62 of the Code of Ordinances, Solid Waste, by repealing and replacing Section 62-89 to better address illegal dumping and protect the health, safety, and welfare of Kansas City residents.

Key Components of this ordinance include:

  1. Enhanced Legal Framework:

    • The amended ordinance explicitly prohibits illegal dumping in public and private spaces without owner consent and outlines substantial penalties for violations. Evidence identifying individuals responsible for illegal dumping will be used to enforce regulations.
  2. Evidence and Enforcement:

    • Possession of three or more identifiable items in illegally dumped materials constitutes prima facie evidence, enabling stronger enforcement actions against violators.

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  1. Penalties for Violations:

    • General Penalty: Violators may receive fines ranging from $1 to $1,000, imprisonment for up to six months, or both.
    • Enhanced Penalty for Specific Properties: Illegal dumping on unimproved parcels, Land Bank properties, vacant lots, or City Parks incurs fines between $500 and $1,000, imprisonment for up to six months, or both. Subsequent violations include additional fines and a mandatory 48-hour shock imprisonment, or by a term of community service as determined by the municipal judge in proportion to the severity of the violation committed. Subsequent violations are also subject to enhanced penalties ranging from $750-$1,000.
  2. Quarterly Reporting:

    • The City Manager will provide quarterly updates to the Finance, Governance, and Public Safety Committee on the ordinance’s implementation and effectiveness, including any recommendations for further improvements.

Kansas City continues to prioritize responsible waste management, reduce street refuse, and minimize illegal dumping activities. The Kansas City Council highlights the importance of each resident’s participation in keeping the environment clean and healthy. Properly disposing of trash, bulky items, construction materials, and recyclables is crucial to preventing illegal dumping and improving the living conditions in our communities.

Residents are urged to report illegal dumping by using the myKCMO app or calling 311.

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