Fines to increase for illegal trash dumping in Kansas City, starting in November

Kansas City residents will see a hefty increase in fines for illegal trash dumping starting in November.

The Kansas City council approved a resolution Thursday to increase fines for illegal trash dumping to $500-$1,000 for a first offense, and $750-$1,000 for repeat offenders.

Fines for illegal trash dumping currently start at $1 and escalate up to $1,000.

Repeat offenders will also face either 48 hours of “shock imprisonment” in municipal jail or mandatory community service, under the new rules.

Previously, violators could face a six months in jail depending on the severity of their trash dumping behavior.

The city hopes heavier fines will lead to less trash dumping in “vulnerable areas”, said Councilman Crispin Rea, who sponsored the ordinance. The fines target dumping in city parks, vacant lots, land-bank lots and abandoned properties.

Rea worked with Councilwoman Melissa Patterson Hazley to write the ordinance, which he describes as a “more comprehensive approach to illegal dumping.”

Eleven council members voted in favor of the fine increase. Two abstained.

Residents have been frustrated with illegal trash piles on public property for years, particularly in south Kansas City.

The cost of enforcing new dumping fines will come out of the city’s general fund.

Council members also approved updates to the city’s trash pickup policy in an effort to make trash cart rules easier to follow.

The resolution sets a 12-day time period for city crews to pick up bulk trash that has been illegally dumped, in spaces like parks or vacant lots.

The city provides trash collection for single-family houses, and buildings with six or fewer residential units. If residents have more trash than fits in a cart, they can put up to two additional trash bags on the curb — as long as bags are marked with excess refuse tags.

Bulk trash pickup is done by appointment only, for up to 500 pounds of trash at a time.

A full list of what Kansas City accepts for bulk trash pickup can be found on the city hall website.