By Lauren Lipton

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (CBS) — A new, “trashy” exhibit opens this coming Wednesday, Earth Day, at the Fairmount Water Works, the historic facility on the edge of the Schuylkill River, behind the art museum.

One Man’s Trash” is a look at the trash picked up in Fairmount Park by just one person over the course of one year.

That person is Bradley Maule, a photographer, journalist, and environmentalist who spent much of 2014 collecting litter in Fairmount Park. Along with the many bottles and potato chip bags, he found some really big things.


(Photo by Lauren Lipton)

(Photo provided)




“Tires, wooden pallets, a sofa bed, a stack of busted Adirondack chairs, even a microwave,” he recalls for Positively Philadelphia.

So who would dispose of a sofa bed or a microwave oven in a city park?

“The microwave was found under the Henry Avenue Bridge.  It looks like people just dump stuff right off the bridge,” Maule notes.  He says the sofa bed was apparently hauled into the park and dumped.


(Bradley Maule, with some of the items he collected over a year in Fairmount Park.  Photo by Lauren Lipton)

(Bradley Maule, with some of the items he collected over a year in Fairmount Park. Photo by Lauren Lipton)

Some of the trash — like pregnancy kits — is of recent vintage.  Other items are decades old.

“I found pull-tab cans, which haven’t been made in 35 years, so they were presumably lying in the woods for 35 years,” Maule says.

One Man’s Trash” is the first of many happenings celebrating the Fairmount Water Works’ 200th anniversary.  It runs through June 26th, and is free.

“The goal isn’t to shame Philadelphia,” Maule says of his exhibit, “so much as it is to encourage people to think about the waste we create and where it goes when we throw it out.”

Hear Lauren Lipton’s extended interview with Bradley Maule in this CBS Philly podcast (runs 12:22)…


And for this week, that’s “Positively Philadelphia!”

“Positively Philadelphia” main page


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