PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Streets Department says starting Monday, trash collection will be back on a normal collection. However, the city is asking residents to not put out recycling on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday because of Tropical Storm Isais.
The department is concerned the storm’s heavy rain and strong winds will contaminate recyclables and cause litter.
The department has been plagued with pickup delays due to the pandemic.
“I don’t know. I don’t know what’s going on,” Jessica Bosworth, of Point Breeze, said.
A Sunday morning stroll was met by mounds of trash. The eye soar is becoming a common sight in South Philadelphia and throughout the city.
“It’s kind of a disaster because the recycling has been out for at least two weeks now and it keeps blowing down the street so I have been collecting it and trying to make sure it doesn’t become a huge mess,” Bosworth said.
The streets department is hiring over 100 additional trash collectors. The city says while they are increasing their collections and also their staffing levels, they say you may still experience some delays.
The first of the delays will come this week. The streets department is asking residents to not put out recycling Wednesday through Friday since the tropical weather system is expected to bring heavy rain and strong winds.
Commissioner Carlton Williams says the pandemic has been hard for them to work through.
“The biggest obstacle we’re facing right now is people staying at home is generating more waste than we’ve ever seen in the City of Philadelphia,” he said.
Williams says they’re collecting 40,000 more tons of trash compared to last year. But he says on top of typical workplace injuries, they’re also behind due to employees falling ill.
“We’re asking for their patience, we’re asking for their support and cooperation,” Williams said.
Eyewitness News spoke to the union representing trash collectors in July. They say they’re often working for weeks without a day off, even as the trash piles up.
“You take my Saturday and then Sunday we’re putting forth the effort, we’re definitely putting forth the effort,” Charles Carrington, Local 427, said.