By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia City Council plans to take a look at one of the longest-running issues facing the city: short dumping — the illegal dumping of trash on vacant lots or even sidewalks.

Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown says short dumping was a problem 30 years ago when she was a block captain, and it remains very much a problem today.

“In the last year, my office has gotten more and more and more complaints,” she says, “which for us always is a signal that we needed to look at it and do something.”

So Reynolds Brown plans a Council hearing on the matter.

“Do we need to increase penalties? What do we need to do? The hearings will tell us,” she says. “But it’s time to take a deeper look at this.”

Cleanup from short dumping is estimated to cost the city about $1.5 million a year. There are laws on the books prohibiting the practice, but Reynolds Brown says they’re clearly not working. No date has been set for the hearing.

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