PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — After weeks of trash pickup delays, one Philadelphia neighborhood is taking matters into its own hands. Philly is known by many nicknames. Unfortunately, “Filthadelphia” is one of them.
But some in one South Philadelphia neighborhood are compacting their worries, bagging them up and carting off the trash themselves.
They’re essentially out scouting for trash, like here on Lambert Street where recycling and garbage have been sitting out, in this case, for weeks. The goal is to identify these hot spots and this weekend, rent some equipment and get rid of it, all on their own dime.
“With insurance, it was about $200 to $400 dollars depending on how long we’ll need the trucks for,” said James Gitto, president of the West Passyunk Neighborhood Association.
On Saturday, Gitto and other volunteers will rent trucks, pick up the trash and bring it to the city’s recycling and trash center in the southwest.
“It’s been rained on, it’s been peed on,” Gitto said of the trash.
“We were putting trash out and recycling, and it just so happened that our recycling consistently wasn’t being picked up so we were about four weeks behind in some parts of the neighborhood,” Gitto said.
He says he’s not upset with the Streets Department. He knows the pandemic has caused major issues with employees, but he wishes the department was more accurate in their notifications of delays.
“Every week, I’m sharing information that’s been given to me by the Streets Department and that information is not accurate. It doesn’t look great on us as an organization, but it also doesn’t really instill trust in local government,” Gitto said.
Gitto says a Streets Department spokesperson says they’ll be caught up by next week, but in the meantime, he and the other neighbors will be offering a helping hand.
“We care a lot about keeping the community clean and green,” Gitto said.
“Start on your block, start in your neighborhood, and clean it up one neighborhood at a time,” neighbor Andy Lee said.