UPPER DARBY, Pa. (CBS) — Upper Darby’s mayor says the township is doing all it can to work its way through trash troubles. Trash has been sitting uncollected for days and some people are losing patience.
Mayor Barbarann Keffer says it was a public health call to shut down the Sanitation Department. But it’s one that has some residents fed up after mounds of trash have been left behind.
“We call it the trashdemic,” resident Tina Hamilton said.
Trash everywhere — that’s what Upper Darby residents have been dealing with for weeks.
“We have health issues. We have trash lying around. That’s just not good,” Hamilton said.
The mayor takes full responsibility for shutting down the Sanitation Department for two weeks after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.
“I’ve taken a lot of heat for it. I know it’s been incredibly frustrating for a lot of people, but in the long term it’ll turn out to be the better decision for the health of the entire department,” Keffer said.
Coincidentally, a tropical storm and flood hit right before the quarantine, so garbage piled up before the interim private companies were able to get to them. Weeks later, they’re still playing catch-up.
“Furniture and stuff that are all corroded that’s hanging around in our yard ’til someone can come get it. And God knows when that’s going to be,” Hamilton said.
Keffer says regardless of how it looks, the township is very close to being back to normal.
“The guys will be all back on Monday to pick up recycling and the bulk trash,” Keffer said.
“So now it’s next week. That’s what we heard last week,” Hamilton said.
Tonight, protesters will be making demands.
“We want them to resign and then we’ll figure out who’s going to be in what seat. We’re not asking for the whole council, we’re asking for the mayor, we’re asking for the CAO and then you have our president of council,” Hamilton said.
Dozens of angry residents are expected to protest in front of the township this evening.
Meanwhile, the mayor says city sanitation workers will be back on duty with increased safety precautions next week. Crews will be working staggered schedules.