PHILADELPHIA — During a joint press conference, city officials announced steady progress in catching and prosecuting illegal dumpers as part of stepped-up enforcement efforts. Mayor Jim Kenney joined with District Attorney Larry Krasner, Managing Director Brian Abernathy, Streets Commissioner Carlton Williams and PPD Deputy Commissioner Dennis Wilson to discuss progress to date and release new videos of perpetrators caught on camera.
“We are sending the message that it is not okay to dump on Philly,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “By installing cameras in illegal dumping hot spots, we are tracking down the people that dump in our neighborhoods on a regular basis. The footage captured on these cameras is helping us better prosecute and impose fines on these perpetrators.”
In the last five months, the City has processed 175 heavy illegal dumping cases through information received from 311 requests, department information, City Council requests, and 911 information. Information on these cases is then passed to enforcement partners to make arrests and prosecute these cases.
“Pollution is a blight on neighborhoods that are already struggling,” said Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner. “Unlike previous administrations that treated this crime as a summary offense, my office is taking illegal dumping seriously. We cannot arrest our way out of this problem, but we can send a message that it will no longer be tolerated.”
Officials released new videos of illegal dumpers caught in the act and asked for the public’s help in identifying the people caught on camera. The videos show dumpers leaving construction debris and other bulk items on streets across the city. To download the video files of dumpers caught on camera, click here.
“Illegal dumping is not only a detriment to our communities but also places a financial burden on the City,” said Streets Commissioner Carlton Williams. “The Streets Department spends millions of dollars annually cleaning and removing illegally dumped materials. When the Streets Department began working with the Police Department and the Office of Data Digital Management last year to install cameras targeting illegal dumping the goal was to catch offenders in the act. We are proud to see our efforts have paid off in the enforcement and prosecution of several cases.”
The public is urged to call 911 if they see dumping in the act or call 3-1-1 if they see dumping after the fact. They can also call or text tips directly to the Philadelphia Police Department at 215-686-TIPS (8477). Residents are encouraged to upload photos of illegal dumping and exact address to Philly311 through the mobile app or by visiting http://bit.ly/Philly311Request.
“Quality of life issues are very important to us. It’s why Commissioner Ross, directed us to dedicate detectives to investigate short dumping and other environmental related crimes,” said Dennis Wilson, Deputy Commissioner with the Philadelphia Police Department.
Illegal Dumping Cameras & Fines
Construction debris and other discarded items such as mattresses, tires and televisions are dumped in places like vacant lots, desolate corridors and under bridges. Illegal dumping cameras have been installed in remote areas like these that are prone to illegal dumping. Each camera costs $4,000 and is equipped with a high dynamic range to provide enhanced visibility for bright and dark areas. They have a rotating lens. A total of 50 new cameras will be installed citywide by 2019.
Under the city code, violators found guilty of illegal dumping or caught dumping risk having the vehicle impounded and seized and are subject to waste disposal and cleanup fees. State law also allows for incarceration of up to six months and fines of up to $5,000.
Disposing of Oversized Items
The Streets Department does not accept metal oversized items or tires as part of curbside collection. Automotive tires and appliances, such as stoves, washing machines, refrigerators, hot water heaters, etc. should be taken away by a private hauler, or residents may bring these items (limit of two oversized items and four tires) to the nearest Sanitation Convenience Center.
Residents may continue to set out compactable furniture, such as sofas for collection at curbside, up to two items per week. Mattresses and box springs must be bagged and sealed in plastic mattress bags when placed curbside. Items may be set out on your regular trash day. They do not have to be bagged if taken to a Sanitation Convenience Centers.
To learn more, visit https://www.philadelphiastreets.com/sanitation/residential/bulk-items.