UPDATE! (July 21)
Thank you to Councilmember Squilla, The Streets Departments, L&I, and the East Passyunk Business Improvement District for touring 2000 S Watts with neighbors on July 20. The group witnessed the issues in-person and promised to properly address the problems!
The work of the above group, facilitated by the East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association, has already led to Snipes permanently removing their dumpsters!
Watch a short documentary on the problem at 2000 S Watts St. (WARNING: graphic content)
The issue isn't dumpsters; it's big businesses thinking they are above the law
STOP ILLEGAL DUMPSTERS WITHOUT ENCLOSURES
When a residential neighborhood is allowed to look like a landfill people treat it that way by dumping more garbage in and around the open dumpsters. Homeless from Broad St use them as a toilet to urinate and defecate, and drug addicts use them to shoot up, leave their needles, and exchange sex for drugs. Children live and play here!
The front doors on our narrow street face the backs of stores on S. Broad, which treat our block like a trash can. Philly law states private-licensed dumpsters are required to be in opaque enclosures. For public-right-of-way-licensed dumpsters, "in instances where a dumpster may impede pedestrian passage or offend nearby residents, users may be required to handle their trash in an alternative manner that does not require a dumpster. Dumpsters will not be approved on the public right-of-way in predominantly residential blocks.”
April 2021, I asked some stores to get up to sanitation code, or at least just tidy up. For a moment some did, but then they ended up adding more dumpsters literally right in front of our doors in a move that feels retaliatory.
The problems that plague Broad and Snyder cannot be completely shielded from 2000 S Watts, but that isn't an excuse for businesses to roll out the welcome mat for those problems to bleed onto our block by completely disregarding the renters and homeowners that are their neighbors.
(WARNING: graphic content)
You have to see it to believe that this is E. Passyunk
Snipes and Rainbow Dumpsters
Snipes actually removed those dumpsters, ironically, because they were illegal. The Rainbow Dumpster persists
Beautiful morning view from a S Watts front door with two brand new illegal dumpsters from Snipes
The Back of Popeyes, H&R Block, and Boost Mobile
This trash doesn't look like it's in an opaque enclosure
I wonder if these needles behind H&R Block are tax deductible?
This trash also doesn't look like it's in an opaque enclosure
Rainbow's Dumpster Welcomes You to 2000 S Watts
What better way to welcome addicts and vagrants onto our block
Rite Aid's Filth Next to Children's Chalk
Sad that the kids on our block have to play amongst this garbage
courtesy of Snipes and Rainbow
We're Better Than This, Philly!
This is no way any Philadelphian should "enjoy" their block; a family plays with Snipes and Rite Aid's dumpster as a backdrop
You Won't Believe What is About to Happen Next...
Notice, children are currently present
Sex, Trash, and Videotape
Rite Aid's dumpster and illegal enclosure (over 6 feet high, blocking a sidewalk) makes a great broad daylight love shack
And Then They Shoot Heroin
Rite Aid must have expanded its pharmaceutical selection
All Philly P.D. Can Do is Tell Them to Move Along
I talked to the police officers, who actually said the dumpsters are what attract this element from Broad and Snyder down our block! These two returned 15 minutes later
Dumpsters Take Precedent Over Wheelchairs
According to the law, in a residential area, dumpsters aren't allowed to block sidewalks
Waiting Next to Overflowing Dumpster for a Car to Pass
The sidewalks do not belong to the residents of 2000 S Watts
There was Relief... for a Moment
But it was "inconvenient" for Snipes to follow the law
2 weeks later, a Snipes dumpster returned directly behind their store next to a brand new Rite Aid dumpster that had arrived a few days prior. Emails to John Hernandez were ignored. I asked the Snipes store manager about the new dumpster who literally admitted she knows it is illegal, but that it's "too inconvenient" not to have a dumpster.
Because the law and neighborly decency might be inconvenient is not reason enough to ignore either
They had no plans for an enclosure because they couldn't be permitted for one because the back of their store wasn't zoned for such a structure! So, they're willfully breaking the law by getting a dumpster but can't hide it in an enclosure because it would be illegal to build one!
I emailed Snipes COO, Brigitte Cooperman, who said she is working with the city and in the interim will put locks on the dumpster. How is the law going to suddenly change and allow Snipes to build an enclosure? How will just adding locks make their illegal dumpster compliant in the short term? It's incomprehensible that a business can knowingly break the law, harm its neighbors, and its COO responds with an empty plea for patience while they try to figure it out.... especially when they had it figured out 2 weeks prior and removed the dumpsters, instantly making the block brighter and safer!
What to Do?