DEAR HARRY: On May 9, I received a letter from the city of Philadelphia dated May 13. (How could this be?)

The letter notified me of a code violation stating that there were recycled items in my regular rubbish. I called and spoke to a very nice young lady.

I told her of the many times in the last 50 years that we had to clean up what was left at our house by residents of the apartment building next door.

We have seen them dropping off trash bags at night numerous times. We also have the problem of dog droppings on our front lawn. She advised me to protest the fine.

I have just had extensive surgery, and I'm in my 80s, so I can't go into town to protest.

Is there a way I can get them to seek out the real violators?

WHAT HARRY SAYS: Yours is not an uncommon situation. The only thing the inspector sees is the violation, not the perpetrator.

As a result, the property resident is the only one they can reach.

I know it's not fair. It puts the burden on you to make sure the trash in front of your house is properly sorted and packaged, regardless of who left it there.

The problem is worse for those whose collection is in the early morning.

I think your best bet is to contact your City Council member.

Email Harry Gross at, or

write to him at Daily News, 801 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19107.

Harry urges all his readers to give blood. Contact the American Red Cross at 800-Red Cross.