MOUNT AIRY - Something stinks outside some Philadelphia public schools. Dumpsters are overflowing with trash and one school has raw sewage seeping onto the street.
Trash bags explode out of a dumpster along residential Greene Street, in Mount Airy. It’s a similar sight at a number of Philly schools, as the district says their waste management vendor is facing a driver shortage.
"This is what it looked like for the kids coming back to school. It looked just like this on the first day of school," neighbor Ruth Sueker described the billowing trash bags.
And, while it may be the first thing that catches the eye, it’s not the biggest concern for people right across from the Charles W. Henry School.
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"I smelled it just walking down the street," Sueker added.
Sueker says she called the district about raw sewage bubbling over, right outside the gate to the school’s play area, just a few days after school started.
"It’s not clear to me how there could be sewage running right where children and parents go in and out for two and a half weeks and that’s not dealt with. I just don’t understand it. It’s not like nobody knows about it," Sueker remarked.
"I saw one deliver truck go right through it and into the school yard," neighbor Bruce Sacks commented.
Neighbors say they are almost used to the trash.
Speaking to the issue just last week, Superintendent Dr. William Hite said they are doing what they can to manage it while their vendor works to get more drivers.
"We have contracted several additional vendors and mobilized our own resources to collect overflow trash and procured additional bulk dumpsters at various sites throughout the city," Dr. Hite stated.
A woman wishing to remain anonymous, who lives near McClure Elementary School in Hunting Park, hopes for improvement. Most importantly – the smell.
"There’s days when it’s bad and then there’s days where it’s really bad," the woman remarked. "When it sits there, it’s a problem. You got maggots, you got flies, you got cats going in there and the smell – it just travels all around the area."