For months, Bustleton resident Joseph Cooper has been exhausted of the shopping carts and large amounts of trash that frequently collect along Roosevelt Boulevard. Once a site is cleaned, it seems like the carts will reappear there or somewhere else along the boulevard shortly after, he said. He’s been taking photos of the situation for months, but it seems like no matter whom he tells, the situation remains the same.
Residents who spot similar problems in Bustleton or other neighborhoods have a few actions they can take to help keep their neighborhood clean. In this specific case, sometimes the easiest solution is to simply call the store they belong to, said Bob Stewart of state Sen. John Sabatina’s office.
“Sometimes calling the store’s name on the cart and having them come get it is the easiest thing to do,” Stewart said.
Other options include using Philadelphia’s 311 system in cases of trash dumping, or calling your local elected official’s office. Another option is contacting local community groups like civic associations, which may host cleanup events, though they operate largely on a volunteer basis.
In this case, community group Northeast Philadelphia Connected has been trying to combat the growing trash problem in the Bustleton neighborhood, especially along Roosevelt Boulevard. President Roman Zhukov created the group last summer to help keep the neighborhood clean, among other issues.
The group, which hosts frequent cleanups, visited the intersection of Grant Avenue and Roosevelt Boulevard this weekend, where many carts had been abandoned. In his cleanups, Zhukov said he noticed the vast majority of abandoned carts come from the nearby Walmart at 9745 Roosevelt Blvd. The carts spread in an approximately half-mile radius from the store and can pose a danger to both pedestrians and drivers if the wind moves them into the street, he said.
“It’s bad for the community and environment when businesses don’t care what’s going on around them,” Zhukov said.
At a cleanup that happened about a month ago Zhukov said the group collected six bags of trash, including around 25 syringes and dirty diapers. They also collected about 25 carts from Walmart.
Keeping the neighborhood clean has always been something Greater Bustleton Civic League president Jack O’Hara mentions at meetings. The organization sends volunteers on cleanups every weekend, and said even if you can’t join organized cleanups, picking up trash outside your house is a start.
“Do I think the trash situation is getting worse, no, but it is something you have to stay on top of all the time,” he said.