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Environmental Compliance & Safety

Improper disposal of waste is a concern for public health and safety, property values, and quality of life. We investigate, remediate, and litigate disposal of waste in prohibited areas.

How do I report illegal dumping or burning?



When you call to report illegal dumping, burning or long term storage of solid waste materials please be ready with as much of the following information as possible: name of responsible party, address where violation is occurring (or nearest intersection if address not known/available), type of material dumped or being burned and how long has site been an active dumping or burning

We do recognize that sometimes people wish to make complaints anonymously however it can be helpful if you do provide us with contact information. We will investigate all complaints received but if we do not have contact information for the complainant it can delay or impede the investigation if we have trouble locating the site. The illegal disposal of solid waste is governed locally by Knox County Ordinance NO. 5-1993 and Indiana Code section 16-20-1-25. The purpose of the ordinance is to prohibit illegal dumping of Solid Waste materials in Knox County to establish penalties for violations thereof, and to provide method of cleanup of such dumps.

What Types of Open Burning is Allowed?

The only type of open burning allowed in the county is of brush/tree limbs or clean wood that has not been treated with any sort of chemicals. There is no burning of any kind in city limits.

Vincennes City Compost Site Hours

M-F 7:30-2:30 Sat. 8:30-1:30

What is Open Dumping?

  • Discarding trash or unwanted items anywhere except state permitted landfills, transfer stations or recycling centers is considered open dumping. It is illegal.
  • Typically, open dumps are located in secluded locations, such as woods or small ravines. However, nothing stops those who open dump from using the side of the road. Streams can also be open dump sites.
  • Examples of waste which is often dumped are household building debris, construction and demolition waste, household garbage, appliances, furniture, tires, plastic, cardboard and hazardous waste.

Why is Open Dumping Bad?

  • Open dumping contaminates the environment and destroys Indiana’s beautiful scenery
  • Household Hazardous Waste (HHW), such as paint, pesticides and other toxic chemicals can be found in open dumps
  • No measures are made to prevent rainfall from carrying the chemicals and HHW into the water table and the drinking water
  • In regulated landfills, plastic liners protect the water table.
  • Household garbage, which may include food scraps and dirty diapers, attracts vermin. Discarded tires collect water and form the perfect breeding area for mosquitoes.

What is the Best Alternative to Open Dumping?

  • Just like with regular landfills, the majority of refuse in open dumps can be recycled, composted or reused.
  • People can by in bulk to reduce packaging waste.
  • Aluminum and plastic containers, newspaper and corrugated cardboard can be taken to the nearest recycling center.
  • Materials good for composting include uncontaminated and untreated natural growth solid wastes such as tree limbs, stumps leaves grass clippings and sawdust that is derived from processing untreated, natural wood.
  • Non meat kitchen scraps can easily be added to the compost pile or vermicultured (composting using red worms). Furniture and appliances can be recycled. Various services recycle the parts or refurbish them for resale
  • Unusabe tires should be given to an authorized tire disposal agent. Your local tire retailer will know of a tire diaposal service which can take used tires. A minimal fee will be charged to ensure that the tires will be recycled properly and not placed into a hazardous tire dump.

What are the Consequences of Open Dumping?

To report an open dump or if someone you know is involved in illegal dumping, contact the Knox County Solid Waste Management District at (812)-895-4878