Philadelphia trash piles up as pandemic stymies its removal

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What would Ben Franklin think?

The Founding Father who launched one of America’s first street-sweeping programs in Philadelphia in the late 1750s would see and smell piles of fly-infested, rotting household waste, bottles and cans as the city that he called home struggles to overcome a surge in garbage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s just the smell of rot,” said James Gitto, president of the West Passyunk neighborhood association in South Philadelphia. Gitto said the situation devolved through July into “a total mess” and he hired a private recycling company to haul away his bottles and cans.

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