Marquis of Debris: Old eatery lot drawing trash

Trash-strewn lot at former Lakey's restaurant in East Mount Airy. (Denise Wilson)
Trash-strewn lot at former Lakey's restaurant in East Mount Airy. (Denise Wilson)
Posted: October 06, 2011

MARQUIS OF DEBRIS is here to tackle trash and take a bite out of grime. If you're fed up, send a message to trash@phillynews.com.

FLAKY LAKEY'S: East Mount Airy neighbors near the former Lakey's, a shuttered restaurant on Stenton Avenue near East Mount Pleasant, said the space around the unoccupied building - which is for sale - was becoming a popular place to dump garbage.

A nearby block captain said trash began appearing in the lot in late spring.

Josephine Reed, owner of the building, removed garbage herself in mid-September, only to have litterbugs return and gradually trash an edge of the lot.

Reed and her real-estate agent are working to clean the lot and keep people from dumping their garbage. Reed will do a second round of cleaning today; the agent plans to install a chain around the area this week to keep the dumpers at bay. "I'm on top of it," Reed said.

TIRE MIRE: The day after I visited a lot on Beach Street near Susquehanna Avenue, Port Richmond, where thousands of used tires and mountains of trash lead to the Delaware River, a pile of tires at the water's edge was set on fire. About three weeks later, firefighters were again dispatched to the lot about 3 a.m. to douse a second blaze.

The Marquis applauds neighbors who get involved in making their community livable, but let's think twice before setting piles of tires and trash on fire.

Besides breaking the law and endangering lives and property, setting trash - especially tires - on fire is harmful to the environment, and Philadelphia is already the fifth-smoggiest metropolitan area, according to a PennEnvironment report.

Christopher Sawyer, a neighbor, filed two complaints about the property with the Environmental Protection Agency after the second fire, and is asking others to jump on the bandwagon. File a complaint at www.epa.gov/compliance/complaints.

The Community Life Improvement Program, a branch of the Managing Director's Office, inspected the lot and wrote violations, said Bridget Collins-Greenwald, deputy managing director.

CLIP will give the owners a chance to deal with the property and inspect it two more times, she said. "If there is no compliance, there will be one more inspection, and then the property owner will be prosecuted in court," she said.

Calls to Glasgow Inc., the Glenside-based company that owns the lot, according to city property records, were not returned.

Go to the Marquis' Facebook page at www.philly.com/MarquisFB.

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