Philadelphia residents frustrated with illegal dumping, city's response to problem

For most places, it may be bizarre to wake up to a boat full of tires dumped out front of your home. For people living in Frankford, it’s their reality. 

Early Sunday morning, residents on Church and Worth Street noticed an abandoned boat full of old tires on the sidewalk. Some residents are saying that the tires were dumped separately and then loaded onto the boat. Either way, locals in the area have had enough of the illegal dumping they notice every day. 

"We don’t want our city to look like this. I think that if you have trash and litter, people feel like then it’s okay to do whatever they want, that there is no authority, and that the people in the city and the elected officials don’t really care about it," said local resident Julie Slavit.  

The office of Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez says that they are aware of the boat, and they are working to remove it. Officials also added that a lot of the dumpers are repeat offenders.

A local man who works in the neighborhood is demanding that the people doing these illegal dumpings get charged. 

"Charge them! It’s as simple as that. I guarantee if you go to their pocket, they’re going to feel that, and they are going to do it right, hands down," said one local employee.

Besides the tons of garbage that is littering many properties in the city, the big issue is the money that’s attached to dumping items. Getting rid of a boat legally in Pennsylvania costs between $900 to $2,000 and tires can cost up to $500 per ton to get rid of. When dumping these products illegally, those costs are not a worry, but a fine for illegal dumping is and law enforcement officials are cracking down. 

Law enforcement officials say that the fine for dumping illegally is $2,000 and that they are expanding surveillance cameras in places where dumping is common.

Unfortunately, the dumping does not stop at just Church and Worth Street. There is another boat that was left in an alley a block away from Aramingo Avenue. There is even a collection of cars that have been stripped of their essential parts and scattered all along Amtrak property.

"There are a ton of abandoned, broken up cars back there. It’s a real fire hazard," says Slavit. "They’re right next to the trains, you know, and we want Amtrak to be safe. It’s also obvious that there are folks who have backyard properties that they’re using for dumping vehicles."

An Amtrak spokesperson says that they are looking into the issue, but they have not responded to why so many cars are abandoned on Amtrak property.

After this story was published, a representative from Councilwoman Quiñones Sánchez's office reached out to FOX 29 with an update. 

According to her office, the boat full of tires in Frankford will be removed and the street will be cleaned on Tuesday.