NBC10Philadelphia.com - Harry Hairston
North Philadelphia residents say someone has turned their neighborhood into a dumping ground. Despite their calls to the city for help, they say the problem continued. So they reached out to Harry Hairston and the NBC10 Investigators.
Filth, debris scattered everywhere and even rats.
“You Have to see the rats!” said Carmen Flores. “They’re bigger than me.”
Flores, a mother of three, says she’s concerned for her children’s health because of a vacant lot on North Randolph Street that is covered with trash. She also claims it gets worse by the day.
“You wake up and you’ll see the piles keep getting bigger and bigger,” said Flores.
Neighbors say they hear garbage trucks pulling up on the street in the middle of the night, dumping anything from tires to sinks, leaving a filthy mess and creating a health hazard.
“Since I’ve been here that stuff has been a disaster,” said Jose Diaz.
The residents say they’ve repeatedly called the City’s 311 Help Line. Despite this however, they claim months have gone by and no one has come to help.
“Are we even on the map?” asked Carmen Flores. “Do they know about our block?”
City officials told NBC10 they have no record of 311 calls from the neighborhood. Once we told them about the problem however, they began to take action.
City officials say they checked out the property where the trash was being dumped and sent the owner violations. They also say the owner has two weeks to clean it up. If not, they say they will clean the dump up themselves and charge the owner.
City records revealed the owner of the property, which is currently up for sale, is NCS, a real estate company. After several days of unreturned phone calls and unanswered doors, the owner finally contacted us on Monday. He told us he hasn’t received the violations yet. He plans to find out who’s dumping the trash on his property and get it cleaned up.
Neighbors say they’re happy something is finally being done.
“I know that the trash has been growing,” said Flores. “Sometimes it’s not just that area, sometimes it’s the street.”
City officials say they’ve cracked down on owners of other properties near the neighborhood as well. To report problems and get the city to help you for what you need, visit the Philadelphia 311 website.