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I-Team Investigation: You Got Busted

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – There’s no one profile when it comes to illegal dumping. All kinds of people do it, and all kinds of stuff is being dumped in the middle of the streets in Philadelphia.

Tom Conway took the CBS 3 I-Team on a tour. “We have some household items, couches, mattresses, furniture. And then it looks like we got some sheet metal and construction debris,” said Conway.

There was a couple caught dumping a couch. And it’s all caught on one of ten city of Philadelphia surveillance cameras.

There was a man caught on tape, and it looks like he couldn’t wait until garbage day to dump his trash. Another man came from New Jersey.

And then there’s a surveillance photo of a van identified as belonging to Cornerstone Records Management, a company that shreds sensitive documents. The employee dumps materials and leaves.

Those people were caught once, but there are repeat offenders.

The I-Team staked out Southwest Philadelphia. We found some of the repeat offenders.

Twice we found a white van with two people dumping what looks to be construction materials at 51st Street and Grays Avenue.

It’s not just a city issue. In Bucks County, there were 123 illegal dumping sites found in a report conducted by the advocacy group Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, including a site in Bristol Township.

Illegal dumping is costly to taxpayers. In Philadelphia just last year, the city spent $1.5 million to clean up more than 16,000 tons of trash.

The police take it seriously.

Philadelphia police allowed only the CBS 3 I-Team to follow them as they nabbed illegal dumpers.

When the police slapped cuffs on two men, they were stunned.

“I never knew you could get locked up for this,” said one man.

Cornerstone Records Management says the employee was dumping “personal effects,” and after CBS 3 informed the company of the incident, he was fired.

About 150 people have been arrested or fined since the illegal dumping surveillance program started.

The fine is $300 per incident and a judge could confiscate the vehicle used in illegal dumping.

Reported by Jim Osman, CBS 3

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