Philadelphia Councilmember Proposing Heftier Fines, Increased Enforcement For Illegal Dumping In City

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Philadelphia lawmaker is declaring war on a decades-old problem in the city — illegal dumping. A proposal would hit violators with big financial penalties.

The councilmember hopes the high fines will make people think twice.

“The fact that folks would think that our neighborhood is literally a trash dump, that they disrespect the neighborhoods, the people in the communities,” Councilmember Cherelle Parker said.

Anger and frustration as people continue to illegally dump debris, tires, construction materials and other garbage in Philadelphia.

“They are negatively impacting the quality of life, quite frankly wreaking havoc in neighborhoods across the city,” Parker said.

Parker is determined to crack down on those who do not dispose of their trash properly.

The councilmember introduced an ordinance that would increase enforcement and impose heftier fines.

“We are trying to hit these folksin their pocketbooks where it will hurt the most by increasing the penalties for illegal dumping in the city of Philadelphia,” Parker said.

Parker is pushing to fine violators per item illegally dumped, which could add up drastically.

It doesn’t stop there. Parker hopes to secure funding in the city’s new budget to get more cameras and hire more manpower to tackle the trash issue.

Residents say they have had enough of seeing their streets as a mess.

“We should all work together,” one Philadelphia woman said. “Not just say ‘well, I don’t live in this block so it’s OK to dump everything here.’ That’s not cool.”

Parker says a cleaner and brighter neighborhood leads to a safer one and vows to hold people accountable.

“The city of Philadelphia is serious. You will not treat our neighborhoods like a trash dump, and if you do, we will make you pay,” she said.

Parker hopes to have the ordinance voted on and passed by the city’s budget deadline in June.