Streets Department officials address trash collection delays and reports of residents being fined

Talk about insult to injury in Philadelphia, especially when all they’re trying to do is get their trash taken away. Not only has trash pickup been delayed, but some residents have received tickets for having trash outside.

Trash bags line a block of 21st Street, near Wharton, in Point Breeze and residents say it was supposed to be picked up Tuesday. A block over on Sears Street at 21st Street, city workers did show up Tuesday, but residents say their pickup day was Monday.

"It's just been delayed, usually by a day. We put it out Sunday night for a Monday pickup and still on Tuesday it's here, but by the evening on Tuesday it's gone," said Daniel Shahar who lives on Sears Street and said it's an ongoing problem.

"There was a storm the other night, so that blew all the trash, too. It just makes the street a little dirtier, but you can like smell the trash, especially in the evening," he said.

The smell is one problem but some residents have taken to social media and other online forums to say the city has fined them for leaving their trash out. Alton Jones lives on Tasker Street.

"My sister did receive a fine recently," she said.

City officials confirm they did issue litter violations from November to April when trash pick-up was on time. But, officials say with the most recent delays after Memorial Day, they've now relaxed the process again. Jones says for her it's the delay.

"You never know. They say they're going to pick it up and they don't get it and we just know when we come to the door," she said.

FOX 29’s Shawnette Wilson talked to Deputy Streets Commissioner Keith Warren Tuesday. He says there are a number of reasons for delays including staffing and severe weather. He also says more people home means more trash to pick up. Residents are trying to be patient.

"I feel like, especially in COVID times, maybe trying to be more sanitary would be a priority," said Shahar.

The Streets Department says residents who received a ticket they feel was unwarranted they should contact the city to contest the ticket. They also say more delays should be expected in the short term, but still put trash out on the assigned day.

The Streets Department apologizes to any resident who feels their ticket was unwarranted. Residents can contact the Office of Administrative Review at 215-567-2605 to contest their ticket. The information is found on the back of the ticket.



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