Bruce Springsteen couldn't make a music video about the "Streets of Philadelphia" without walking by piles of trash. Urban Dictionary has five entries for "Philthadelphia," including one that claims our city's filth is so mysterious it's been known to "perform acts of transmogrification." Both Forbes and Travel and Leisure magazines have placed Philly among the country's dirtiest cities.
Unfortunately, according to a photo KYW reporter Pat Loeb posted to Twitter prior to a scheduled news conference about the plan — a news conference that was ultimately shut down by protesters — nobody thought to empty the overflowing trash cans outside of City Hall Monday morning.
That got us thinking about some of the egregious cases of littering people have witnessed in Philadelphia.
A few years ago I was on Filbert Street near Eighth behind our newsroom in the old Strawbridge & Clothier building, and I watched a woman in a parked minivan throw a dirty diaper right out her window onto the street.
Temple grad Brianna Rooney said she was hit by a flying fruit missile on Saturday.
Twitter user Paul Allen K actually confronted a styrofoam litterbug he encountered in Society Hill once, but he said that's not a strategy he recommends to others.
"I'm 6-foot-6 and 325 pounds. I think he thought I was an off-duty cop," he wrote. "He said 'Sorry.' I walked away victorious."
6ABC reporter Jeff Chirico, who said he once got out of a news van to return trash to a litter bug in Atlanta, watched someone toss a cup out on the Schuylkill on Friday (traffic was actually moving so he couldn't return it this time). And freelance copywriter Katie Sweeney said she saw a woman smashing glass bottles into a storm drain.
Twitter user Matthew Farrell just sent us this picture, which sadly could have been taken any number of places in Philadelphia.
In fact, we just started picking intersections at random on Google Maps Street View and many of them had some level of trash cover, like this intersection on the 3000 block of West Cumberland Street in Strawberry Mansion.
But Philly's trash problem isn't relegated just to its streets. In December, pro wrestler Austin Aries tweeted about the trash he saw at Philadelphia International Airport.
But the most Philly story we've heard so far comes from Elizabeth Sedran, who got a trashy twofer in Washington Square West a few years ago.
Philly, we love you, but if we were dating and came to your place for the first time, we'd seriously have to question your long-term prospects. Here's hoping the mayor's new plan works, but it really starts with you, the citizens of Philadelphia. And you, city officials, to make sure the trash cans get emptied.