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June 28, 2016

Philly wants to prevent dumpster fires during DNC protests

Streets Department trying to ensure public trash bins properly locked up

City officials are taking steps to ensure trash receptacles don't get set ablaze or used to stop traffic by protesters during the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

The Streets Department began patrolling and inspecting commercial dumpsters on June 17 to make sure they are properly secured in accordance with city code.

"During past events, dumpsters have been set on fire and rolled into the pedestrian right of way and into traffic, causing major safety issues," said Mike Dunn, Deputy Communications Director for the City of Philadelphia.

Businesses and property owners who don't properly lock up their dumpsters will receive code violations, and dumpsters that aren't in compliance will be reported to the Office of Emergency Management and police so they are aware of possible safety concerns.

Tens of thousands of protesters are expected to descend on the city during the convention, which runs from July 25-28.

Permits are required for groups wanting to stage protests, however, city officials have said there will be no "crackdown" on protesters without permits.

Additionally, recent legislation signed into law by Mayor Jim Kenney allows police to issue $100 civil fines instead of making criminal arrests for several "nuisance crimes," such as disorderly conduct, blocking a street and failing to heed a request to disperse.

The law was passed in an effort to avoid mass arrests during the convention.