Want to become partners in grime?

Leaside Litterati

Photo Cheryl Vanderburg.
Photo Cheryl Vanderburg.

Some days I feel on my own in my pursuit of a litter-free Leaside. And then partners-in-grime appear with their helping hands.

On a mid-March Monday I spent the morning running errands on Bayview. The street itself looked respectable, however many of the litter bins were overflowing.

I sent a note to the Bayview-Leaside BIA. “I’m sure the BIA knows there is a City litter bin issue on Bayview. Over the winter the bins have been overflowing causing litter to be strewn on the road and sidewalk beside them, and the flower boxes are being used as alternatives. Very yucky indeed. I pick up litter as I am doing my errands. However, frequently I can’t find a bin to put it in as they are full. Apparently, the city of Philadelphia is legislating that ‘all corner stores and restaurants put trash and recycling bins near their entrances in an effort to reduce litter.’ Is this something the BIA could ask of Bayview merchants? I’m sure it would help.”

I received an encouraging reply. “Thank you for your efforts in helping to keep our community green. I agree that garbage bins and litter on our streets is an issue within our area. The idea of asking our biggest contributors of waste to put trash bins near their entrances is a great idea. There are obviously some considerations that the BIA would need to discuss but I will bring this idea up at our next board meeting!”

Little did I know that Phil Penney, a fellow grime-buster living on Millwood near Bayview, was also hard at work! “Hi Cheryl, just read your article in Leaside Life – keep up the good work. I’ve just spent an hour on the phone to 3-1-1 reporting problems and hopefully getting them fixed. They ranged from an abandoned car to a pile of furniture on a front lawn that had been there for months to the revolting overflowing garbage bins on Bayview. The agent I spoke with advised that the only way problems such as these will be dealt with is if residents call 3-1-1. The good news is their staff are excellent and get results. I also talked to Lesley Burlie in Councillor Jaye Robinson’s office to find out how frequently the bins on Bayview are supposed to be emptied. The ones near Millwood are a disgrace. Did you happen to watch ‘Prince Charles at 70’ on PBS Sunday night? Both William and Harry emphasized how Charles would take them litter picking at one of their country estates on a regular basis, so much so that it’s now in their DNA. We need to encourage Leaside families to do the same!”

Penney’s outcomes were also cheering. “Within 48 hours of my call to 3-1-1 the three bins near my intersection had been dealt with as had the ticketing of the abandoned car. And I received an email from the Councillor’s office: ‘I am copying Pierre St-Jean, Manager, Solid Waste Operations regarding your question about the garbage bins on Bayview near Millwood. Pierre, Mr. Penney is very concerned about the overflowing waste receptacles on Bayview. He would like to find out the collection schedule for these bins.’” St-Jean’s reply was hopeful. “Thanks for letting me know. I appreciate the annoyance of having to look at overflowing bins on a regular basis. We have been struggling with a couple of issues that have affected our collection schedule. We are working on the solution.”

There is power in the collective. Together we can do something extraordinary for Leaside.

About Cheryl Vanderburg 43 Articles
Cheryl Vanderburg writes the monthly column "Leaside Litterati." She is a local 'plogger' who combines her love of walking with picking up litter. She hopes to inspire all Leasiders to join this newest craze to stay fit and keep our neighborhood green and clean.