Before-and-after photos of clean-up efforts
Before-and-after photos of clean-up efforts

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“Nobody wants to live in a community that has littering and garbage,” says Major Zachary O’Lare, a member of the Prince George’s County Police Department working for the Deputy Chief of Investigations and Forensics. Major O’Lare has been with the Prince George’s County Police Department for almost 20 years, and recently joined the Environmental Task Force. He’s part of an interdepartmental team cracking down on litter and illegal dumping.

Before-and-after photos of clean-up efforts
Before-and-after photos of clean-up efforts

Illegal dumping isn’t just an eyesore — it has real health consequences for Prince Georgians. Those old mattresses, couches, and tires on the side of the road are fire and safety hazards that also contaminate our drinking water and create breeding grounds for disease-carrying rodents and insects. All these effects result in environmental and public health issues, falling property values, and spending taxpayer dollars from the County budget to clean up the dumping sites. 

That’s why Major O’Lare and the task force are holding people accountable. Prince George’s County is placing hidden cameras at dumping sites to record people illegally dumping, and then tracking them down. It’s not just about aesthetics—illegal dumpers need to answer for their impact on public health and safety. 

The task force needs help from Prince Georgians though. Residents should report illegal dumping sites they see throughout the County so problem areas can be identified and cameras can be placed nearby.  

The task force is already seeing results. In one Upper Marlboro case, an offender received $17,916 in fines and restitution, a 1 year suspended jail sentence, 3 years’ probation, and 100 hours of community service for dumping tires. This strong response sends a message: Prince George’s County is taking the health and safety of its residents and environment seriously, and jeopardizing that will not be tolerated.  

There are solutions for your mattresses, couches, old tires, and more. The County’s improved curbside bulky trash collection program has made it easier to get rid of bulky trash for residents receiving County-provided services – just leave up to two (2) bulky items next to your trash on regular collection days each week to have them picked up, no appointment needed. For scrap tires and white goods, such as refrigerators, washer, dryers, and other appliances, appointments are still needed through PGC311.

Join the Conversation


  1. Excellent news. Trash lowers property values and brings in more filthy people. Give a huge fine so that they can let other litter bugs know what they can expect.

  2. I’m so glad that they are cracking down on illegal dumping in PG, County. I live on Oxon Drive in Temple Hills, illegal dumping occur everyday.

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