Trenton sanitation workers deserve appreciation for long hours and hard work
As darkness fell on the capital city, a developing storyline involved uncollected trash in Chambersburg and other parts of the East Ward.
Already under siege by mice infestation, trash left standing on curbs would only make that bad situation worse. Rodents enjoyed happy anticipation, humans, not so much.
Douglas Simmons, who owns PM Pest Control, described a two-year invasion of mice.
“A mother may have six to eight (pups) five or six times a year. Baby mice can start having their own babies in just a couple months. Do the math, it’s like a pyramid,” Simmons, who had just completed an extermination job on Franklin St., said.
Simmons explained Chambersburg may experience a significant invasion when cooler temperatures arrive and mice seek indoor accommodations. So, any unnecessary accumulation of trash could exacerbate current conditions.
In the past, city communities with significant Latino populations, perhaps based on their lack of voting power and government representation, suffered most. Mind you, homes on the west side of Franklin St. had trash removed Tuesday morning. If time and daylight ran out, areas like Chambersburg would have to wait until next-day trash collection.
Earlier that day, neighbors had set out a mattress for collection, unaware that city regulations require the bed item needs plastic wrapping before pickup. The mattress leaned against a tree.
Keeping our block of Franklin St. free of large items like mattresses and small curbside trash items, rates as important. By the way, being a clean city requires consistent behaviors that showcase pride. A new family on our block features a mother who loves to sweep. The more people wielding brooms means better odds of keeping our street cleaner and safer.
Purchased a large piece of plastic from the it’s-not-a-dollar store and headed home to cover the mattress.Wrestled with the flimsy plastic covering and mattress for several minutes before a Dept. of Public Works/Division of Sanitation vehicle drove up. Gerald Brown and Steinert Williams, part of the city’s Graffiti Blasters crew, slipped out of the cab.
The city vehicle includes a large roll of plastic that segments perfectly-sized pieces of plastic to cover mattresses. Brown and Williams voiced greetings, covered the mattress, extended an handshake and fist bump and drove off.
Five hours later the mattress still leaned against the tree. Darkness neared as an evening walk through the neighborhood ended. A glance south showed one vehicle headed slowly up Franklin St.
City employees whose day had started just after 6:30 a.m. still worked their job 12 hours later. They tugged trash bags between vehicles as a supervisor’s truck provided headlights for this final mission.
They received shouted appreciation for working into the early evening. The two men dragged the mattress near the truck’s hopper. In went the mattress.
City residents rightfully show respect and gratitude for police officers and firefighters. Keeping Trenton clean remains a major task that demands a hard work ethic like the four aforementioned city employees.
Yes, we complain when the garbage bag breaks and workers leave some of the contents on the street. For the most part, they deliver admirable performances daily and deserve appreciation.
L.A. Parker is a Trentonian columnist. Find him on Twitter @LAParker6 or email him at [email protected].
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