Illegal dumping sucks.

What Is Illegal Dumping? 

Illegal dumping is dumping of any waste, whether it is hazardous material, furniture, appliances, trash, or landscaping cuttings, etc., being placed on any public right-of-way, city property or private property, without consent of the owner. 

How The City Is Helping

Quality Control TeamColumbus Consolidated Government implemented a Quality Control Team that patrols neighborhoods and reports illegal dumping, along with investigate citizen complaints. To learn more information on how the Quality Control Team can assist you, please dial 311 for the Citizens Service Center. 

Columbus Litter League- The Keep Columbus Beautiful "Columbus Litter League" is an annual partnership with local elected leaders to combat litter and build cleaner and safer communities. This event is held the first Saturday of March in alignment with the Great American Clean Up. Teams are based on the district of businesses, neighborhood groups, faith-based organizations, private clubs, civic organizations, and individuals. This event has been completed for 2021, however, we encourage you to connect with your district councilman and join their Litter League initiatives that expand throughout the year. To learn more details about the Columbus Litter League, click HERE. Stay tuned for registration details for the KCBC Columbus Litter League 2022. 

Community Clean-Ups- Keep Columbus Beautiful host and partners throughout the year for monthly clean-ups in community parks and designated areas. We provide the supplies for the clean-ups, and assist in gathering volunteers for that date. If you are interested in starting a clean-up in your area, please email us at kcbc1987@columbusga.org. To sign-up as a volunteer, click HERE for opportunities to serve.

Report Illegal Dumping

Help from the entire community is vital in helping catch and fine illegal dumpers! Our combined efforts will help deter illegal dumping and create a Peachy Clean Columbus. 

The City encourages anyone who encounters an illegal dump site to report it immediately. If you observe someone illegally dumping, please take down the following information:

  • Date, time and location of incident
  • Description of vehicle and license plate number
  • Description of person(s) dumping
  • What items/materials were being dumped
  • Your name and phone number (optional)

Report the information to the following agencies:

To report illegal dumping, please use the Columbus Recycles App or call the Columbus Citizen Services Building at 311, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. With adequate information and an eyewitness who is willing to testify, the City can and will pursue prosecution.

Legal Ordinances

Article VI. Litter 

Section 13-153 Unlawful Activities

It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to dump, deposit, throw or leave, or to cause or permit the dumping, depositing, placing, throwing or leaving of litter on any public or private property in Columbus, Georgia, or any waters in Columbus, Georgia, unless:

(a) Such property is designated by Columbus, Georgia, or by any of its agencies for the disposal of such litter, and such person is authorized by the proper public authority to use such property;

(b) Such litter is placed into a litter receptacle or container installed on such property. 

(c) Such person is the owner or tenant in lawful possession of such property, or has first obtained consent of the owner or tenant in lawful possession, or unless the act is done under the personal direction of said owner or tenant , all in a manner consistent with the public welfare.  

Sec. 13-155. - Penalties.

Any person violating the provisions of this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished according to section 1-8 of the Columbus Code of Ordinances and in the sound discretion of the court, such persons, upon being sentenced for a period of imprisonment may, as a part of that imprisonment, be directed to pick up and remove from any public street or highway or public right-of-way for a distance not to exceed one mile per day, any litter he has deposited and any and all litter deposited thereon by anyone else prior to the date of execution and implementation of the sentence; or said persons, in the sound discretion of the court may, as a part of that imprisonment, be directed to pick up and remove from any public park or any other public property or with the prior permission of the owner or tenant of any private property upon which it can be established by competent evidence that the convicted person has deposited litter, any and all litter deposited thereon by the convicted person or anyone prior to the date of the execution and implementation of the sentence.

Litter Fines in GA 

Georgia’s Litter Control Law classifies littering as damage to property. A conviction under this law is considered a misdemeanor in Georgia. Persons convicted of this law may be assessed a fine up to $1000 and a 12 month jail term. In addition, if convicted of littering, a judge could order the convicted person to pick up and remove litter from any designated area.

To learn more details on this ordinance, click HERE

SHARE LINK TO SECTIONPRINT SECTIONDOWNLOAD (DOCX) OF SECTIONSEMAIL SECTIONAny person violating the provisions of this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished according to section 1-8 of the Columbus Code of Ordinances and in the sound discretion of the court, such persons, upon being sentenced for a period of imprisonment may, as a part of that imprisonment, be directed to pick up and remove from any public street or highway or public right-of-way for a distance not to exceed one mile per day, any litter he has deposited and any and all litter deposited thereon by anyone else prior to the date of execution and implementation of the sentence; or said persons, in the sound discretion of the court may, as a part of that imprisonment, be directed to pick up and remove from any public park or any other public property or with the prior permission of the owner or tenant of any private property upon which it can be established by competent evidence that the convicted person has deposited litter, any and all litter deposited thereon by the convicted person or anyone prior to the date of the execution and implementation of the sentence.

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Updated Litter Fines for Columbus, GA 

The new ordinance in effect since June 08, 2021 makes the littering fine a flat $1,000. Judges still have the power to assign community service for the “indigent” or those determined unable to afford the fine. Check out the news article HERE for more information. 

Waste Collection 

Learn about the pickup schedule, and what is accepted at curbside. 

Click HERE to view the Garbage Pickup Map 


Recycling Collection 

Starting May 10th, 2021 Columbus will be transitioning to automated recycling. 

Call 311 to replace your 32 Gallon Cart with a 64 Gallon Cart so that it can fit properly onto the machines. Please visit www.columbuga.gov to learn more information about this process for an easy transition. 

Lets Get Rolling