After Series celebration, a clean sweep by the city

At 13th and Locust Streets, Hasan Moss sweeps up trash left after the World Series parade while colleagues Odes Carter (center) and Derrick Phillips prepare to bag it. City workers were joined by crews hired by businesses along the route.
At 13th and Locust Streets, Hasan Moss sweeps up trash left after the World Series parade while colleagues Odes Carter (center) and Derrick Phillips prepare to bag it. City workers were joined by crews hired by businesses along the route.

Crews facing 50 tons of trash won praise for picking up where the Phillies left off.

Posted: November 02, 2008

Armed with a high-pressure hose and jugs of chlorine, the veteran custodial supervisor circled City Hall yesterday - one of the throngs of cleanup workers charged with removing traces of the previous day's Phillies parade.

Darlene Bailey's late-morning duty came after mounds of litter - the bulk of it beer bottles - had filled about 200 garbage bags. Then it was time for a nostril-clenching chore: removing the stench that a shortage of Port-a-Potties produced.

While some may remember Halloween 2008 as the day Philadelphia basked in the glory of a World Series win, Bailey and others will recall a time when the city got totally trashed - 50 tons' worth, by city estimates.

But like its beloved baseball team, Philadelphia rebounded in style.

"They've done a fantastic job," Diane Burko said yesterday morning as a posse of city workers with stiff-bristled brooms swept through the 300 block of Juniper Street, where she and her husband were renovating a house. "This is good city government."

The transformation along Broad Street on Friday was performed by 60 workers who finished their shift at midnight instead of 3:30 p.m., racking up eight hours in overtime, said Carlton Williams, deputy streets commissioner.

Yesterday, an additional 40 workers focused primarily on the side streets, he said.

Friday's crew collected about 40 tons of traditional parade fare: bottles, cans, confetti and toilet paper. Yesterday's crew added 10 tons, Williams said.

"They did a great job. They really went above and beyond," he said.

The amount of refuse wasn't a record, Williams said. That distinction remains with Live 8, which generated nearly 200 tons in 2005.

"Of course, that was a much longer event," Williams said.

Confidence that the Phillies would win gave the department a jump on planning, he said. The strategy was a reverse of the Mummers' routine: Start at City Hall and chase the debris south toward the sports complex.

City workers were joined in their efforts by private workers at the many businesses along the route of the parade, which drew a crowd of two million, according to unofficial estimates.

Nepoleon Miller, an employee of American Building Maintenance Co., was supervising a "germy" job at Wachovia Bank on Broad Street similar to Bailey's City Hall task.

"Yesterday was a beautiful day," he said. "We should be proud of our city, but we shouldn't trash it."

Pointing to the difference in the sidewalk color before and after power washing, Miller speculated that the fans who had left the most debris probably did not live in the neighborhood.

Gwen Thompson, a 29-year letter carrier, said she had trouble doing her job Friday, navigating between the crowds and the "mounds and mounds of trash."

But it was worth it, she said.

"It was great. A world championship? It doesn't get any better than that."

Even Bailey agreed.

"I would clean all of this up again in a minute," she said. "It was an amazing celebration."


Contact staff writer Kathleen Brady Shea at 610-696-3021

or kbrady@phillynews.com.

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