August 12, 2015 |
ASK A CITY trashman or woman what's the nastiest part of the job or the worst thing that's ever happened, and the answer is not easy. Because there's just so much, especially in the summer: The asphalt is hot enough to melt the soles of work boots. The stink can churn an iron stomach. The maggots are celebrating their new life. The bees treat you like a pin cushion. The open-air drug dealers stop you and say, "Hold up, don't dump that can. " And yes, it's summertime and indeed the livin' is easy - for raccoons, opossums, rats and mice.
September 2, 2014 |
Mamadou Sacko and Barry Williams spend their work days enveloped in a malodorous fog. If it is even mildly warm out, they are trailed by a light constellation of flies. During an eight-hour shift, they will pick up and dump 20 tons of refuse - from aging love seats to sacks of unrecognizable slop - the typical haul for a crew of Philadelphia sanitation workers, positions commonly known as trash collectors. "Best job I've ever had," both men will tell you. "I don't know, I just really enjoy it," said Sacko, 41, who prefers the work to the nine years he spent as an overnight manager of a gas station.
March 31, 2014 |
JENNY DRUMGOOLE throws surprise pizza parties for the city's trash workers as a thank you for their service. For tonight's party at Little Berlin art gallery in Kensington, it's no surprise - the trash collectors are taking over. And you're invited. While filming her impromptu curbside celebrations since last May for her documentary "How-To Happy Trash Day" - which premieres as part of tonight's "The Place of Dead Roads" exhibit - Drumgoole learned that the sanitation workers have been working without a contract for five years.
May 7, 2013 |
The same social media that Green Eggs Café has used to regularly promote its breakfast offerings has come back to bite it — like a rat. The restaurant's Midtown Village location, at 13th and Locust streets, fell under public scrutiny beginning last night, when passersby spotted a number of rats on a table. A crowd gathered around the closed establishment about 10 p.m., taking photos of the rodents surrounding two pizza boxes on a table. Jenna Bachen, who lives nearby, said she was walking home when she saw the rats — at least four — on the table and the floor.
February 26, 2013 |
David J. Damiano Sr., 79, of Garnet Valley, a former Philadelphia streets commissioner and longtime sanitation engineer, died Monday, Feb. 18, at home of complications from the flu. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Mr. Damiano was a 1955 undergraduate of Villanova University. He earned a master's degree in civil engineering from the school in 1963. He was a longtime Philadelphia employee, starting in 1955 as a graduate engineer and working his way up to chief engineer of sanitation.
January 21, 2013 |
Four exotic animals have died since September at a Burlington County zoo under federal investigation for animal-welfare violations. A female giraffe that survived a roaring barn fire in 2011 was euthanized in December, three days before a hyena cub was hit by a car. An adult hyena with a foot wound was euthanized in October and an ailing lemur was found dead in its cage in September, in both cases after the animals' care was neglected, according to...
April 25, 2012 |
Every Tuesday Leah Howse got a 4:30 a.m. wake-up call. Free of charge, courtesy of the trash haulers right outside her bedroom. Since December, when someone moved a Dumpster to the alley behind her house, the noisy haulers consistently provided an unwanted alarm. Howse, who lives in Francisville, says the combination of the beeping truck, the banging to make sure the Dumpster's empty, and the workers yelling to each other ensures that her day starts early. "It's relatively quick," she says, "but then I'm awake.
March 27, 2012 |
It was one of the most graphic details in a grand jury report filled with uncomfortable passages: A sentence on Page 37 stating that after the Rev. James J. Brennan anally raped a 14-year-old, the priest remained inside his body as the boy cried himself to sleep. Yet in Monday's opening statements at the long-awaited clergy sex-abuse trial in Common Pleas Court, both the prosecution and a defense attorney offered a sharply sanitized version of that night, which casts doubt on the case against Brennan and could weaken the conspiracy charge against Msgr.
March 6, 2012 |
As the man in charge of the city's sanitation, Carlton Williams has a thankless job. Despite being the innovator behind the Recyclebank rewards program and the BigBelly trash cans, his is the type of behind-the-scenes public service that usually gets noticed only when something goes wrong. That is why he was a little concerned when Mayor Nutter called him early Friday morning, while he was taking his children to school. "I said, 'Who missed their trash?' " Williams joked.
October 13, 2011
SHIVAANI Selvaraj, 38, is a founder of Philadelphia's Media Mobilizing Project and producer on Tavis Smiley's "The Poverty Tour: A Call to Conscience," a five-part documentary series about poverty across the U.S. airing this week on PBS. Q: How did MMP's participation in "The Poverty Tour" come to be? A: We were invited on the tour because, basically, we exist to build a movement in the U.S. We believe we need to wage a new war on the poverty across color lines in this country.