Philadelphia is implementing a new surveillance program to catch illegal dumping violators in the act and use photo evidence against them in court, enforcing fines of up to $5,000.
The area surrounding Main Campus received the highest Litter Index Score in the city’s 2017-18 Zero Waste and Litter Progress Report. But there is not one camera installed within a one-mile radius of Main Campus, and it is unclear when any will be installed.
At least one camera should be set up around Main Campus to monitor students’ wasteful tendencies and enforce violations.
Longtime residents of the neighborhood have complained for years about student littering, which the university has attempted to address with talks of a Special Services District and efforts to reduce trash during the July to August move-out period when students dump unwanted contents from their off-campus apartments into the streets and sidewalks.
Student dumping has reduced residents’ quality of life and sends a message to neighbors that the university does not respect the place they call home.
Temple is evidently an area where illegal dumping should be better enforced by the city. The Streets Department has installed 15 out of the 50 allotted surveillance cameras it plans to place by this summer, and the city has the opportunity to reduce dumping around Main Campus.
In the meantime, we encourage students to be good neighbors and be accountable for their garbage. Students should reuse, recycle, donate or responsibly dispose of their unwanted items. Because even if there isn’t a camera to catch them in the act of dumping illegally, there is garbage in the streets for all neighbors to see.