Regional Environmental Task Force
Learn about the Capital Area Regional Environmental Task Force and ways to protect public health and the environment by preventing illegal dumping.
No dumping here! Watch as Austin's KEYE-TV joins the Regional Environmental Task Force on patrol in this May 2013 story.
Discover the RETF
The Regional Environmental Task Force, a network of law and code enforcement officers who collaborate to combat illegal dumping and other environmental crimes in Central Texas, has served Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Llano, Travis and Williamson counties since 1996.
From conducting outreach and providing educational opportunities to operating an illegal dumping hotline and helping bring violators to justice, the task force works to protect public health and the environment across the region.
Multiple jurisdictions work together for the task force. A board of directors representing the 12 member agencies - from 10 counties and the cities of Austin and Cedar Park - governs the group. The board in turn annually elects an executive committee to manage task force business.
The Capital Area Council of Governments provides administrative support, coordinates RETF training and maintains the illegal dumping hotline. Funding for CAPCOG support comes from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which distributes a portion of landfill tipping fees to the solid waste programs of regional councils of governments across the state.
Report illegal dumping
Whether it's leftover tires thrown down a ravine; old furniture, plastics and chemicals tossed in a field; or other suspicious activity, report illegal dumping anonymously anytime by calling 1-877-NO-DUMPS (1-877-663-8677) or completing the convenient online form. CAPCOG forwards illegal dumping complaints to the appropriate jurisdiction for investigation.
Find facilities for proper recycling and disposal
Many types of solid waste require a variety of facilities for disposal. The RETF's Google-powered interactive online recycler map shows the locations and contacts for all recycling centers, household hazardous waste facilities and landfills in the Capital Area Council of Government's 10-county region. Simply select the placemark of your choice to view the contact information for that location.
More on environmental law enforcement
The RETF conducts about three training classes per year in basic and intermediate environmental law enforcement. Certified instructors from various agencies, including the City of Austin and the Travis County Attorney's Office, teach the classes. In addition to discussing the growing problem of illegal dumping and other environmental crimes, instructors address civil versus criminal prosecution, unauthorized discharges, solid waste and nuisance violations, search or administrative warrants and outdoor burning.
Classes provide continuing education credit for Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, Code Enforcement, Sanitarians, and OSSF inspectors. While they are largely for RETF member agencies, sessions are open to the public as space allows. Check back for future training dates, including easy online sign-up.
The task force also publishes a free Environmental Law Enforcement Guide, a handy resource on selected laws, definitions and tips related to illegal dumping, water pollution, outdoor burning and more.
> Check environmental training opportunities through CAPCOG.
> Download the Environmental Law Enforcement Guide to your smartphone.
> See the instructions for downloading to iPhones.
> Download the 2013-2014 Environmental Law Enforcement Guide PDF.
> Order the 2013-2014 Environmental Law Enforcement Guide hard copy through Pocket Press.