Council President Darrell Clarke speaks on the city's initiative to install 15 surveillance cameras to stop illegal dumping.


In Council News, Darrell L. Clarke, Maria D. Quiñones-Sánchez, News by admin

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Total of 50 Will Be Installed Citywide by Spring 2019

PHILADELPHIAMayor Jim Kenney, Council President Darrell Clarke (5th District), Councilwoman Maria Quiñones Sánchez (7th District), Managing Director Michael DiBerardinis and Streets Commissioner Carlton Williams announced today the installation of 15 new surveillance cameras specifically targeted for capturing illegal dumping.

The cameras are the latest effort to crack down on illegal dumping and were installed as part of an initiative designed to step up enforcement of sanitation and dumping violations. The Streets Department has partnered with the Philadelphia Police Department to catch illegal dumping in the act allowing for capturing violators with real-time photos that can be used in court for prosecution.

“Illegal dumping is a quality of life issue that negatively impacts many of our communities,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “It contributes to the decrease in property values and neighborhood appearance and can lead to increased crime. We must make every effort to deter this epidemic that plaques our neighborhoods. Camera installation allowing for prosecutable photos will go a long way in capturing violators who have little to no regard for the communities where they dump.”

Mayor Kenney and City Council support of a targeted plan to capture illegal dumpers allows for severe enforcement and long-term monitoring that can catch, identify and prosecute dumpers.

“Bringing this selfish and illegal behavior to an end is the right thing to do for communities and taxpayers,” Council President Clarke said. “Block captains and neighborhood leaders like Mr. Speaks do great, uncompensated work to maintain and beautify vacant lots and sidewalks, and they deserve a City government that does its part, too. I want to thank all of our partners in this effort for putting illegal dumpers on notice: You are being watched, and you will pay a steep price for being a bad neighbor.”

 “Illegal and irresponsible dumping impacts residents’ quality of life”, added Councilwoman Maria Quiñones Sánchez. “This new initiative will help us catch offenders and stop this behavior.”

Construction debris and other discarded items such as mattresses, tires and televisions are dumped in places like vacant lots, desolate corridors and under bridges. The 15 cameras have been installed in remote areas like these that are prone to illegal dumping. Each camera costs $4,000 and is equipped with a high dynamic range to provide enhanced visibility for bright and dark areas. They have a rotating lens. A total of 50 cameras are expected to be installed citywide by summer 2019. Locations where cameras are installed include:

  • 9th and Venango Sts.
  • 11th and Venango Sts.
  • 9th and Ontario Sts.
  • 11th and Ontario Sts.
  • 400 Collum St.
  • Hutchinson and Courtland St
  • Warnock and Courtland Sts
  • 11th and Courtland Sts
  • Hutchinson and Wyoming St
  • 8th and Wyoming Sts
  • 9th and Wyoming Sts.
  • 10th and Wyoming Sts
  • 11th and Wyoming Sts
  • 4600 N. 9th St.
  • 4500 N. Warnock St.

Illegal dumping is not only a detriment to our communities but also places a financial burden on the City. “The Streets Department spends millions of dollars annually cleaning and removing illegally dumped materials,” stated Streets Commissioner Carlton Williams. “Our Sanitation crews routinely serviced the same sites requiring removal of discarded materials. Surveillance cameras specifically targeting illegal dumping helps to save in cleanup costs as funds typically spent on a cleanup can be directed to other city services. Consistent monitoring and capturing of offenders provides much needed support for the Department’s use of time and services as crews spend less time making repeated trips to clean the same illegal dump sites.”

Through the efforts of the Mayor’s Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet the City has made great strides to increase enforcement against violators that illegally dump materials including new legislation, stricter fines and new enforcement procedures. At the request of the Cabinet, the Police have designated an Environmental Crimes Detective dedicated to investigating illegal dumping cases. This as an integral piece of the enforcement process, and is expected to significantly increase the volume of arrests and successful prosecution of illegal dumpers.

Under the city code, violators found guilty of illegal dumping or caught dumping risk having the vehicle impounded and seized and are subject to waste disposal and cleanup fees. State law also allows for incarceration of up to six months and fines of up to $5,000.

Watch the news conference:


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