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City of Philadelphia


Below you will find some of Philly311’s most asked about items. If you have any further questions about the items below, or would like to place a service request,  please contact us on social media, through email (, by dialing 3-1-1, or through our walk-in center. You can also use our Knowledge Base to browse topics and popular articles concerning your 311 based questions.  To learn more about Philly311 visit our YouTube page.

Maintenance Residential

A building with non-working utilities or outstanding interior and/or exterior maintenance issues (not addressed by property owner) can be reported to Philly311. Issues include: leaks in the ceiling, overgrown plants, trash in backyard, and deteriorated exterior walls and/or porches. Once a request is entered into the system the property will be inspected by L+I within 20 days. Owner has up to 30 days to comply with violations. Thereafter, up to three additional inspections may be conducted to ensure violations were complied or resolved. To learn more about reporting a building with safety issues, watch our video here.

Street Deformities

Potholes are usually circular shaped holes in the asphalt layer of the roadway. The Streets Department will repair a pothole within a business week. Weather conditions may lead to temporary fixes or delays.  Potholes filled by non-city agencies may take longer to fill.

Cave-ins (sometimes called sinkholes) are irregular shaped deep holes that penetrate through the concrete base caused by undermining. Water conditions and piping  must be tested prior to the repair, but permanent repairs are expected to be fixed within 45 business days. During winter months barricades or cones will be placed until weather conditions improve.

Ditches are rectangular excavations in the roadway. These cuts are made by utilities and plumbers to reach underground lines. While contractors are responsible for filling pavement temporarily, the Streets Department will  restore water and plumber ditches permanently. Ditches created by Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) are restored and repaired by PGW. During winter seasons temporary tamped-down cold patching material is used until the weather permits permanent restoration.
Service requests for potholes, cave-ins, and ditches can be reported through 311’s various channels.

Broken Traffic or Street Lights

A traffic light is the signaling device at intersections to control traffic. A street light illuminates a road and is typically mounted on a tall pole. To report a traffic or street light that is out or down contact Philly311 and a service request will be created. A report will be sent to the relevant city contractor with either the Streets Department or PECO. Lights will be inspected fixed or replaced within three business days.

Vacant Building

A building is considered vacant when the structure has no legal residents and is a safety hazard. A building is considered hazardous if it’s in danger of collapse, has collapsed previously, and/or building materials are falling from the property. To report a vacant building, contact Philly311 and a service request will be created. L+I will inspect the property within 15 business days. If any issues are found by L+I, the building owner has 30 days to resolve the issues.  Thereafter, up to three additional inspections may be conducted to ensure violations were complied or resolved. To learn more about reporting a building with safety issues, watch our video here.

Illegal Dumping

Illegal dumping is the unlawful disposal of used tires, construction debris, old appliances, furniture, as well as general household, commercial, and industrial waste in places other than permitted facilities, such as landfills and transfer stations. If you would like to report illegal dumping you can contact Philly311 and a service request will be created. Once a request is submitted someone from the Streets Department will be out within five business days to pick up the trash. To learn more about reporting illegal dumping, watch our video here.

Trash/Recycling Pick-up

The Streets Department collects trash, rubbish, and recycling 7AM to 7PM. If an entire street’s trash was not collected and it is after 7PM contact Philly311 to file a report. The Streets Department will be out to collect any missed trash or recycling within two business days. Curbside trash should only include legal household waste with each receptacle/bag weighing no more than 40 pounds; the total weight should not exceed 240 lbs. if weight exceeds the limit take trash to a permitted disposal facility. For neighborhood trash collection schedules use this link collection schedule.  To learn more about paying for a trash ticket, watch our video here.

Graffiti Removal

Graffiti is writing or drawings scribbled, scratched, or sprayed illicitly on a wall or other surface in a public place. To request graffiti removal, contact Philly311 and a service request will be created. Please be aware that graffiti can only be removed in temperatures above 40 degrees and any graffiti above the first floor on private property is the owner’s responsibility. Once a request is placed into Philly311, removal will happen within seven business days, subject to weather conditions.

Fallen Trees

Fallen trees or tree limbs that are blocking the street, sidewalk, or access to a home can be reported to Philly311 and a service request will be created. If the tree limbs are touching wires call PECO at 800-841-4141. The police Department (911) should be contacted if the tree is completely blocking a highway or major traffic artery, or the incident involves loss of life or can be considered life-threatening such as: trees trapping people in cars, trees falling on people or trees on downed wires that are on fire. Trees that are located in an alley or in a front yard/backyard are the responsibility of the property owner, regardless of the situation. Sidewalk repair is also the property owner’s responsibility.

Abandoned Vehicle

A vehicle is considered abandoned when it shows signs of being inoperable (e.g., missing or flat tires), hazardous (broken glass), has expired registration, or has expired inspection stickers. To report abandoned vehicles please contact Philly311 and a service request will be created. The Police will come and inspect the vehicle within 30 days (timeframe may be extended due to seasonal resources). To learn more about reporting abandoned vehicles, watch our video here.