Philly residents hope new trash center in Strawberry Mansion will reduce dumping

    Tommy Blocker points out dumping sites in front of a recently cleaned lot (Kyrie Greenberg/for NewsWorks.org)

    Tommy Blocker points out dumping sites in front of a recently cleaned lot (Kyrie Greenberg/for NewsWorks.org)

    In Strawberry Mansion, Victorian charm is everywhere. Unfortunately, so is the trash.

    To better manage illegal dumping that’s been a problem for decades, there is a new Sanitation Convenience Center.

    Tonnetta Graham, President of the Strawberry Mansion Community Development Corporation says residents now have no excuse for illegally leaving trash.  “I think the close proximity is what’s going to catch people,” she said. “People will be more willing to go over to Sedgley than just let the trash hang out.”

    City Council President Darrell Clarke says the center gives residents choices, not tickets. “We want to offer solutions instead of citing people. Instead of putting your trash on the corner of your block or in an abandoned lot, we’re giving the neighborhood an option,” he said.

    Tommy Blocker has been the block captain of North Ettings St. for 30 years. He manages regular clean ups in his neighborhood. “Individuals come by and they just dump it wherever they see fit. Perfect example, right around the corner from me. Came out this morning, and there was a TV sitting on the curb. Sitting on the curb. And I’m glad that we now have this facility that’s opened up,” he said.

    Still, it’s been a slow start. The center says it sees 15 residents a day on average. They have deposited about one ton of trash since opening last month. Graham says she hopes residents will start enforcing trash rules unofficially. “If they happen to see dumping to say, ‘Wait a minute, you don’t have to do that. The center’s right there, round the corner. It’s close by or a couple blocks down the street,’” she said.

    In addition to accepting household trash, the center also takes recycling, bulk items, electronic waste, and yard waste. Located at 2601 West Glenwood Ave, it’s open Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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