BernCo Sees Rise in Illegal Dumping


The county has seen a significant rise in illegal dumping throughout Bernalillo County since the beginning of the stay-at-home directives.  

 The county’s health protection office says this trend is particularly troubling because dumping is being reported in populated areas as well as rural open spaces.  

“Residents are reminded that dumping of trash on any public or private property, open space properties,  in arroyos, ditches, alleyways and even on the side of the road is illegal and can be punished with fines of up to $1,000 and/or 90 days in jail,” says Bernalillo County Health Protection manager Lucas Tafoya. “Besides just being an eyesore, there are health and environmental impacts to the community from dumping trash illegally.”  

Health & Environmental Risks 

•Direct contact exposure to sharp objects, medical wastes, toxic substances, and fire (especially a risk for children playing in the areas) 

•Habitat/breeding ground for potential disease causing vectors 

•Indirect exposure to toxic chemicals/hazardous waste 

•Drinking water quality issues related to non-point pollution (especially areas near private wells)  

•Surface water contamination in arroyos, ditches, and the Rio Grande 

•Air pollution from pollutants carried by smoke from open burning (tires) 

•Harmful impact on native wildlife and aquatic habitat 


The alternatives to dumping illegally include the following solid waste convenience centers: 

•South Side (Montessa Park), 512 Los Picaros Rd NW, 505-873-6607 

•West Side (Don Reservoir), 117 114th Stree SW, 505-836-8757 

•North Side (Eagle Rock), 6301 Eagle Rock Rd NE, 505-857-2918 

•East Side (East Mountain Transfer Station), 505-281-9110 


Other Numbers

For abandoned cars, contact Bernalillo County Zoning at 505-314-0350. In the City of Albuquerque, contact code enforcement at 505-924-3850. 

Large item pick-up, appliances, furniture, etc., is free to county residents by calling Waste Management at 505-892-1200. Residents should call one week before their scheduled pick-up day.  City of Albuquerque residents can call 311.  

To report illegal dumping along irrigation ditches, contact the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy Districts at 505-247-0234. 

Household hazardous waste including paint, pesticides, cleaning solvents, batteries, etc. can be dropped off for free at Advanced Chemical Transport, 6133 Edith Blvd NE, 505-345-1650 or 505-998-4154. 

Up to five gallons of used motor oil per day, in any container, can be dropped off at many auto parts stores including AutoZone, located at 2627 Isleta Blvd SW, 505-873-9099. 

For dead animals in the unincorporated areas of the county, call the Bernalillo County Animal Care and Resource Center at 505-314-0281. Within the city limits, call city Animal Welfare call 311.  


Here are four steps to stop illegal dumping:  

  1. Call the Bernalillo County Planning & Development Services Department, at 505-314-0350, the City of Albuquerque at 311 or the State of New Mexico at 866-428-6535. 

2.   Have information available regarding the address where the trash is or dumping is occurring. 

3.   Be able to assess what type of trash or substance is on the property. 

4.   Be prepared to give your name and phone number in case property cannot be located. 

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