Illegal dumping is the act of dumping waste (household furniture/trash, construction materials or tires) in unauthorized locations such as public streets, sidewalks, vacant land, or under bridges.

More than just your everyday litter, which is scattered street or sidewalk debris, the City is taking a new approach to tackle illegal dumping.

lllegal dumping costs the City millions of dollars and countless hours every year to clean up the trash and keep our beautiful city clean.

What the City is doing to fight this issue.

Mayor Kenney has been working hard to keep our City safe and clean! The City has recently installed 50 new video surveillance cameras, and there are plans to add 100 more each year. These cameras are placed above frequently dumped spots. Not only do these cameras act as a deterrent to scare off potential dumpers, they also capture video of illegal dumping in the act

So far this year, the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) has investigated 175 instances of dumping and brought 14 cases to trial. Penalties can include service hours cleaning up illegal dump sites, restitution, and fines.

Depending on prior offenses, fines range from $1,000 to $2,000. In 84 of the worst dumped blocks in the City, fines have already increased. Illegal dumpers could also face up to a year in jail.

What you can do to Help!

  • Report illegal dumping when you see it.
  • If you see anyone dumping on vacant lots or city properties, call 911.
  • If you are reporting it after it happened or see illegally dumped trash, then call 311 (or 215-686-8686 if you are outside the city).
  • You can also call or text tips to the PPD at 215-686-TIPS (8477). Write down and report any details of the crime that you can, including descriptions of the people and vehicles that you see.
  • If possible, take pictures or a video of the crime if you are out of harm’s way, but do not confront the dumpers. A clear shot of the dumping in action, along with the vehicle and plate numbers are helpful in police investigations.

Organize a block cleanup. The Community Life Improvement Program can help you organize a cleanup on your block and even provide the tools you need. Contact them at (215) 683-2547 for more information, and check out their tips and best practices for effective cleanups.

Become a block captain. Block captains are vital in making sure blocks stay clean and beautiful. If your block does not have a block captain, you can apply to become a block captain! Don’t know if you have a block captain? Search your address.

Participate in Love Your Park Week. Do you love your neighborhood park and want to keep it beautiful all year-round? Twice a year, you can join 2,500 fellow residents for Love Your Park Week. Volunteers clean up trash and litter, tend gardens, care for trees, and more. Save the date for the Love Your Park Fall Service Day on Saturday, November 9, 2019 (registration opens on October 9th).