How to find out who owns illegal dump properties

We’ve all seen them, illegal dumps. I want to show you how easy it is to find out who owns the dump property so that action can be taken by the City and the property owner.

In 5 easy steps, I’ll show you one of District 8 illegal dumps and track down the property owner.

Step 1: Locate & Document the Illegal Dump Site

Be sure to bring your camera or smart phone. Find the illegal dump, note the location (street name & hundred block) and take your photos.

Here’s some photos for my example: (click any photo to launch slide show)

Step 2:  Map the Illegal Dump Site 

A good map location is critical to showing others where the dump is located. You can use Google Maps, Bing, Here or others to pinpoint your illegal dump.



Step 3: See what Google Street View Shows for the Illegal Dump Site


Google visited Rufe Street in October, 2014. Notice the debris, showing that this is a long term dump site. Also notice the concrete barricades, visible to Google in Oct., 2014. They are not in my February, 2015 photos! Interesting.

Step 4: Find the Official Address of the Property

Since many illegal dumps are on out-of-the-way side streets,it is not always clear what the address of the illegal dump site. Fortunately, there is a web site for that.

Head on over to PDQ’s web site and click the Philly Address SuperMap(TM) to get the exact address.



In our case, the illegal dump is visible on Rufe Street but the actual property address is 313 E Bringhurst St.

Step 5: Use City’s on-line query tool to fin Owner of 313 E Bringhurst Illegal Dump Site

This link brings you to the City’s Property Search tool where we can add the official address.



We’ve done it. We have found out that the illegal dump property belongs to …. the City of Philadelphia.

Well now I know who to call to start getting the illegal dumping stopped.

Here is a pdf of the 5 steps.  Finding Dump Property Owner_steps.

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