By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — State lawmakers from Philadelphia are spearheading legislation that would impose hefty fines for tire dumping in the city.

Philadelphia House Democrat Angel Cruz says in addition to creating health and safety hazards, illegal waste dumping has grown in recent years and costs city taxpayers more than $8 million a year.

“Cleaning up our streets is one of the easiest ways to reclaim our city – the city of Philadelphia — from what has become known as ‘Filthydelphia,’” Cruz said.

City officials say small fines are one reason combating dumping is difficult.

Citing particular dangers associated with tires, Cruz says his bill would give Philadelphia more tools to stop tire dumping, starting with fines of $5,000 per tire. In addition to toxins released by burning and decomposing waste tires, Cruz says disease-carrying mosquitoes breed in water that collects in them.

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