Marquis of Debris: New World Plaza: Crossroads of stench

Posted: November 18, 2011

IF YOU HAVE a bone to pick with litterbugs in your neighborhood and you want to take a bite out of grime, email the Marquis at, or find my page on Facebook.

In late May, I visited the New World Shopping Plaza, at 6th Street and Washington Avenue, where the South Philly springtime breeze smelled more like a dirty diaper.

Neighbors near the shopping center, at the crossroads of the Queen Village, Bella Vista and Southwark neighborhoods, said trash was overflowing from the Dumpsters - attracting cat-size rats, and forcing a foul smell into their homes when they opened doors and windows.

The garbage is back with a vengeance, neighbors said. This time, discarded fish tanks, piles of trash and barrels marked Inedible are piling up behind the putrid plaza.

"I have reported the issue to Philly 3-1-1 for two years in a row, but nothing has been done," said Southwark neighbor Sean O'Donnell, who created a Web page on to give neighbors a forum to vent frustration with the filth.

On my last trip there, shop owners said that they were just as annoyed with the mess and that their waste-management company was doing a shoddy job.

The revolving door of rubbish has to stop spinning at some point, neighbors say, and the Marquis is going to follow up on this case to see what can be done.

Elsewhere in South Philly, neighbors near FDR Park took to an online community forum to bash the Parks & Recreation Department for allowing cars to park there during Eagles games.

The proceeds should be used to maintain the park, they said.

Well, that's already happening.

Since 2004, Parks & Rec has used money from parking revenue to fix aging and worn roadways, lighting fixtures and the underground electrical system at FDR, bordered by Broad Street, Pattison Avenue, Gateway Drive and the Navy Yard. Mark Focht, Parks & Rec deputy commissioner, said all net revenue - about $950,000 - has been invested in FDR since cars were allowed to park there in 2004.

This weekend, the Philly Rising Collaborative, a branch of the Managing Director's Office, invites neighbors in Point Breeze and North Philly to participate in three cleanup events scheduled for tomorrow morning.

* Neighbors will meet at Bucknell and Federal streets in Point Breeze at 9 a.m. to clean up litter in the neighborhood's labyrinth of alleyways.

* Neighbors in the Swampoodle section of North Philly will meet at 9 a.m. at 27th and Sterner to beautify their area.

* Neighbors in Hartranft will begin their cleanup project at 10 a.m. on Cumberland Street near 8th.

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