Illegal dumping turns North Philly neighborhood into junkyard

Pat Loeb
April 03, 2019 - 2:33 pm
Sharswood has become a dumping ground, and city officials can't seem to do anything about it.

Pat Loeb/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A North Philadelphia neighborhood has become a dumping ground, and city officials can't seem to do anything about it. The city has taken many steps to fight illegal dumping but in this case, the trash just keeps piling up. 

Katie Heer loves her Sharswood neighborhood and is proud of the improvements she's made to her house, but when she looks out her back window, her heart sinks. 

"Honestly, it's embarrassing because in the back, you see these disgusting piles of garbage," Heer said. 

Related: Illegal dumpers, be warned: City cracks down on trash violators with surveillance cameras

Heer has called 311 several times and the case has been referred to the CLIP program, which city officials say has a good track record of cleaning up illegal dump sites. In this case, though, they say Philadelphia Housing Authority owns the lots getting dumped on, so PHA is responsible.

Spokesperson Nicole Tillman says PHA has a $130,000 contract with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society to keep its Sharswood properties clean. The work started Monday, so neighbors should see improvement soon.

"We're doing everything we can, spending real money, to combat dumping," Tillman said. 

That hasn't discouraged the dumpers. 

Heer videotaped them this week in broad daylight, driving a truck on to the lot and unloading.