By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Illegal dumping around public litter baskets is becoming a big problem in Philadelphia and the streets department is stepping up its efforts to stop it.

READ MORE: Dr. Mehmet Oz, Dave McCormick Race Heads into Recount In Pennsylvania Senate Primary

Litter baskets are placed in high traffic areas in city neighborhoods to prevent litter on the street, but they’ve recently become a magnet for illegal dumping.

“We’ve noticed an increased in the number of residents bringing their household trash to these baskets, placing them in the baskets and around the baskets,” says Donald Carlton, deputy commissioner of the Philadelphia Streets Department.

Donald Caarlton -- deputy commissioner of the Philadelphia Streets Department. (Credit: Cherri Gregg)

Donald Caarlton — deputy commissioner of the Philadelphia Streets Department. (Credit: Cherri Gregg)

Carlton says the baskets are emptied once a day, but the illegal dumping creates smelly eyesores, quality of life issues and can be dangerous to children. He says the department is stepping up investigations of illegal dumping and will be handing more citations:

READ MORE: WATCH LIVE: DA To Provide Significant Update On 1991 Murder Of Joy Hibbs In Bristol Township

“We know that there can be overcrowding because of poverty issues. We know that some apartment buildings do not offer trash storage, so we know people aren’t just doing it to do it. but at the same time– instead of getting a citation, we are giving people options.”

Citations can cost about $150 each, so drop off locations could be a cheaper option.

Carlton says the city has three drop-off sites and are planning to open three new sites within the next year.

For a full list of drop off sites, CLICK HERE.

Check Out These Other Stories:

[display-posts category=”news” wrapper=”ul” posts_per_page=”
5“]
MORE NEWS: Philadelphia's Chief Of School Safety Kevin Bethel Speaking Out Following Texas School Tragedy: 'Fear In Our System Is Real'