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Picture of Abandoned Car and Illegal Dump Site by Eddie Ando

Illegal Dumping and Abandoned Vehicles

Depositing litter on private, open or vacant property is a violation of Santa Barbara County Code and California Penal Code. So is storing an inoperable vehicle in public view.

Find the appropriate contacts for your area on this page.

Illegal dumping on private lands costs property owners and the County thousands of dollars in cleanup costs every year. It's a violation of the Santa Barbara County Code and the California Penal Code for any individual to throw or deposit litter on private, open, or vacant property, outside of normal collection containers. Further, it is a violation for an inoperable vehicle to be stored in public view on private property.

Upon identifying a violation, a County of Santa Barbara Refuse Inspector has a variety of options for achieving compliance with the code, depending on the circumstances of the case. The options range from issuing a correction notice for the violator to voluntarily comply with the code to having a maximum civil penalty of $25,000 per day imposed, as long as the violation exists.

Under the Santa Barbara County Code, a violator may also be subject to paying for transportation, towing, and County staff costs incurred in addressing a problem.

Illegal dump sites pollute waterways, clog creeks and cause flooding, impact animal habitat, create hazards for humans, and negatively affect tourism.

Who Do I Call?

To report illegal dumping in the unincorporated areas of the South County, please call (805) 681-4342. To report illegal dumping in the unincorporated areas of the North County, please call (805) 739-8769.

If you live in a city, such as Santa Barbara or Santa Maria, please contact the agency listed on our Government Contacts Page.