HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM)- Illegal dumping and blight have plagued the City of Harrisburg for years. To fight the filth, the city doubled its crew in the last year.

abc27 went on a ride-along with Harrisburg Public Works to see the issue up close.

Dale Neff with Harrisburg Public Works told us that bulk illegally dumped items and piles of junk “seem to make their way along the different alleys.”

The trash in piles can be found in illegal dumping hot spots throughout the city.

“It took a lot of educating for us to get to where we are but as you can see, it’s still going on,” said David West, Director of Public Works.

“All kinds of stuff like furniture, mattresses, drywall when they’re tearing out a house,” said West.

Last year, the city cleaned up 1,600 piles of trash, costing a little over $347,000. From January to September 2023, the city picked up 887 piles of trash, totaling nearly $200,000.

“Since we have more employees and more equipment, it gives us the capacity to pick up more of the illegal dumping,” said West.

Adding more crew members to pick up the trash doesn’t solve the overall issue. The city has 12 cameras in various illegal dumping hotspots throughout the city and plans to add six more in the new year. From January through September, security cameras caught 17 illegal dumping violations and 10 people were caught, fined, or stopped.

“What we really need is help from the residents,” said West. “If you see something, say something,” said West.

Trudy Johnson is doing just that. She’s lived in Allison Hill since 1971 and says the illegal dumping wasn’t always this bad.

“When I drive over the city I see mattresses laying out, houses falling down and I’ve never seen this before in the city,” said Johnson.

Anyone who witnesses illegal dumping can call the City of Harrisburg Public Works office at 717-412-4320.