College students leave behind mess when moving out for summer

Sidewalks surrounding the off-campus housing near the University of Pennsylvania's campus stay pretty clean most of the year, but when it's time to move out for the summer locals say heaps of trash narrow the once passable walkways.

Couches, chairs, desks, beds were intermixed with bags of trash on 40th Street and Locust Street Friday, causing walkers to navigate unnecessary garbage piles.

"In the morning when I'm walking to work only one person can walk down the sidewalk at a time. It's ridiculous," Shanee Stephens said.

Stephens' job gets even more difficult when she has to lead a pack of toddlers to Locust Walk from the daycare she works at.

"We have a four seat stroller and we can never get down the sidewalk because there are so many bags of trash, it creates problems for us, the kids, we don't want the kids to step in it, we don't want to touch it and then it stinks," Stephens said.

While the trash is still littering the streets, some locals say its current state is actually an improvement from a day ago. 

The owner of Keswick Cycle on the 4000 block of Locust Street says he grew frustrated with the garbage that was scattered about his storefront and cleaned it up with the help of his employees.

"They just throw the trash wherever," Anthony Baron said.

Philadelphia residents living within close proximity face similar sanitation issues. But when the students leave town for the summer, it's the locals who are left holding the bag. 

The property manager of a local apartment building says the trash is supposed to be left in the back yard for workers to collect. However, a tenant says he was required to leave the trash in the front of the building, where they always leave their trash.

Without any clear system, people who live and work around Locust Street say the vicious cycle continues every spring. 

"At least we can get some signs up, get some more awareness at least on the city's behalf, let's let the people know we don't want to see these kinds of things," Baron said.