I-Team Investigation: You Got Busted

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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One Comment

  1. Jonana says:

    Alice – I like the way you think.
    And, how about rewards for people who video illegal dumping? Call it BAIT BUCKS and run footage on the evening news.

  2. noname says:

    I am amazed at the laziness of people. all you have to do is call 311. they’ll get you the hours of the nearest dump site, like the one in Northeast Philly on State rd. and Ashburner street. it was so easy when we had a lot of stuff we needed to get rid of that couldn’t wait for trash day.

  3. heather says:

    to say most occurs in low class black neighborhoods is ridiculous. ive lived in a primarily caucasian neighborhood my entire life and there was always short dumping. i moved a few years back, to yet again, a primarily white neighborhood…near the south street bridge…and yet again, a ton of short dumping. its ridiculous to pinpoint an area. it happens all over our city, as it does in any large city. the city needs to open more places that allow dropoff so that the people do not feel the need to dump their stuff on the street. i now live in west philadelphia and yes, there is stlll a lot of short dumping but no more or less than the other areas ive lived in. so, to the city officials….try creating more spaces that allow free dumping like the one in southwest philadelphia. make them more available. then again, who am i, just a regular everyday tax paying young citizen whose voice doesnt seem to matter.

    1. anon513 says:

      I think your idea is excellent also. More places where people can dump their unwanted items would be helpful and could eliminate the situation. This comes from another regular tax paying citizen. :0)

  4. Dmobile215 says:

    I say give them 90 days in jail, that will fix them or take there cars and trucks for a penalty and sell there trucks for cheap!

  5. Alice Reisman says:

    Illegal dumping. Here’s a possible solution. Have all those “caught dumpers” escorted by police to clean up other dumped sights. Full 8 hr days, 30 min lunch and two 15 min potty/water breaks for 2-4 weeks or longer (appropriate time set by Judge), City provides truck. NO PAY for men cleaning up. Like Community Service, only something really useful.

    1. Anonymous says:

      That’s an excellent idea.

Comments are closed.

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