Monterey County Farm Bureau

Ilegal Dumping

As the pandemic eases, there has been a noticable increase in illegal dumping around and on local agricutlural fields.  While some of this may be tied to the issue of homeless camping that has plagued our County for several years now, the overall problem has been persistent for many years and seems to grow worse each year.

We need to address issue as a community.  MCFB has met with County staff and continues to participate in the County's Illegal Dumping and Litter Task Force.  Trash haulers, landfill operators, and agecies are working together to get the word out that illegal dumping is not acceptable and that alternative means exist to legally deposit trash at tranfer stations and landfills, mostly without cost.

Landowners who discover illegally dumped items on their property also have resources available.  Monterey County's Environmental Health Department offers a voucher for clean-up and disposal of trash at the County's landfills.  Read more about this voucher process here.

Another aspect of illegal dumping and trash is the homelss camping in remote areas of our County, including in the Salinas River channel.  When discovered, in most areas, illegal campers are issued a citation to vacate the premesis with a 30-day period to comply.


Read the Illegal Dumping & Litter Task Force newsletter here, detailing recent efforts to clean-up trash and curtail illegal dumping.


Treated Wood Waste

Treated Wood Waste (TWW) comes from wood that has been treated with chemical preservatives. These chemicals help protect the wood from insect attack and fungal decay while it’s being used. Fence posts, sill plates, landscape timbers, pilings, guardrails, and decking, to name a few, are all examples of chemically treated wood.

A few visual signs of TWW include a treated wood end tag, wood manufacturer stamp codes, indentations on the surface of the wood, visible staining around the perimeter only, discoloration, and odor.

As of January 2021, the statutes and regulations that allowed TWW to be handled with alternative management standards have expired. Now, all TWW in California is considered hazardous waste and must be transported to a Class I Hazardous Waste Landfill for disposal. This leaves very few options for disposal of hazardous TWW in California. For many generators, temporarily accumulating TWW for up to 90 days is an available option, regardless of generator status. Since March 1, 2021, the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has begun issuing variances, so many of the local disposal facilities, transporters, and handlers, that were previously accepting TWW will be able to resume accepting it. Check the following links to stay up-to-date with the disposal facilities, transporters, and handlers that have obtained variances.

For Monterey County, Johnson Canyon Landfill, Jolon Road Transfer Station, Sun Street Transfer Station, and Monterey Peninsula Landfill have obtained variances.

Note: anyone generating or transporting TWW over 50 lbs is required to obtain a variance from CA Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), including contractors for homeowners or businesses and public works teams.  Access DTSC website here for more info.


Litter Abatement Program

The litter abatement program that began in October of 2020, under the direction of the Environmental Health Bureau of the Health Department, has collected over 35 tons of waste from Monterey County roadways. The county removed an assortment of illegally dumped materials such as tires, mattresses, bulky furniture, car parts, potentially hazardous waste, and bags of garbage from county right of way from Big Sur to Greenfield to Prunedale.

In response to increasing complaints regarding roadside trash and litter, Monterey County, Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority (SVSWA), and the Monterey Regional Waste Management District (MRWMD) initiated a litter abatement program to supplement the county’s public works crew. Funded by MRWMD and SVSWA at $125,000 to be under the direction of Public Works, Facilities, and Parks (PWFP), the program was not expected to start until after 2021. Monterey County initiated a separate program with a funding of $50,000 from the General Fund to begin in late 2020. The contract was awarded to Smith & Enright. The program implemented routine monitoring of county roads and complaint response to removing litter and illegal dumping.

The litter abatement program under the Health Department’s direction is expected to end by the first or second week of April 2021. However, the program will transition to the new contract under public works department where Smith & Enright will supplement county litter crews.

As always, anyone can help by reporting illegal dumping. It is easier than ever. You can use the Monterey County Connect app, Keep Monterey County Clean, or simply call Environmental Health at (831) 755-4505.