Refuse & Nuisance

Solid Waste


The accumulation of solid waste may be considered a nuisance that is enforceable through the nuisance ordinance. Solid waste must be disposed of in a proper manner as there are many potential hazards created by the failure to dispose of solid waste legally.

Many potential hazards are created by open dumping:

  • Potential for explosions
  • Fire hazards
  • Toxic gas release
  • Potential injury to children
  • Drinking water contamination
  • Damage to plants and wildlife
Reporting Illegal Dump Sites
  • Report site to state and local law enforcement authorities
  • Report site to local Health Departments
  • For further assistance call your regional Environmental Protection Agency Office
  • Champaign Regional Office 217-278-5800
Who is liable
  • The land owner is liable, even if the land owner is neither the dumper nor knowledgeable about the dump site.
  • The dumper is also liable
  • The generator of the waste is also responsible if the person hired to dispose of the waste does so illegally.
Land owners can protect themselves against illegal dumping by:
  • Erecting barriers (gates/fences/locked cables) to the property
  • Posting warning signs such as "NO DUMPING" or "NO TRESPASSING"
  • Cleaning up dump sites immediately so as not to encourage others to dump
  • Ask law enforcement officials to patrol area more frequently.
Enforcement measures can include:
  • Immediate cleanup of the area
  • Citations or notices to appear in court
  • Fines
  • State's Attorney can prosecute for criminal & civil damages
Acceptable disposal options for commonly dumped materials:
  • Garbage
    • Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
    • Sanitary Landfill
  • Landscape Waste
    • Participate in community landscape waste collections
    • Construct an on-site, well maintained, household compost bin
    • Mulch your yard material
    • Leave grass clippings on lawn as nutrients
  • Used Tires
    • Participate in the used tire collection program which is available to private property owners and farmers
    • Allow your tire retailer to dispose of your used tires for you.
    • Burning Tires is Illegal!
  • White goods (refrigerators, Freezers, Ranges)
    • Dispose of these materials at a landfill that participates in the Industrial Material Exchange Service
    • Dispose of these materials at a metal recycler
  • Motor Oil
    • Many service stations and recycling centers accept used oil
  • Household Hazardous Waste
    • Participate in household hazardous waste collections. For a collection nearest you, call 217-785-8604


The Solid Waste Storage and Handling of Refuse and Nuisances Ordinance was created due to the increase of scrap and waste materials of all kinds. The excessive quantities of refuse and inefficient and improper methods of refuse disposal result in scenic blight and cause serious hazards to the public health, comfort, safety, convenience, welfare and happiness of the county residences, create public nuisances and otherwise interfere with the community life and development, create havens for vermin, and create fire hazards.

The Ordinance covers refuse storage and handling, nuisances and dangerous buildings. When a written, signed Citizen's Nuisance Complaint (PDF File) is received by the Coles County Health Department an inspection team from the Health Department and the Coles County Sheriff's Office conducts an investigation of the property. If violations are observed, the individual responsible for the violations or property owner is issued a Notice to Abate. This Notice gives the individual a time frame to correct the violations observed. If the individual makes all corrections, the file is closed after the inspection team conducts a compliance inspection confirming corrections. If the violations remain, a Violation Notice and Report is issued giving the individual a hearing date. The individual is requested to appear at a formal hearing before the Hearing Officer to present any evidence on his or her behalf responding to the written violations of the inspection team. The inspection team is also present to provide evidence supporting the validity of the violations observed. If a property owner or responsible individual cannot be ascertained, or if service on the respondent cannot be made by mail, service may be made on the property by posting a violation notice.

For more information, view the Coles County Solid Waste and Storage and Handling of Refuse and Nuisances Ordinance
Citizen's Nuisance Complaint Form (PDF File)