COVID-19 continues to impact trash collection in Philadelphia

A sanitation truck collects trash near 58th and Arch Streets in West Philadelphia.
Photo credit John McDevitt/KYW Newsradio
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio)  Philadelphia officials are reporting a relatively smooth reopening of gyms and fitness centers in the city this week. Inspectors are finding a high rate of compliance with COVID-19 prevention measures.

The Health Department said it’s inspected 12 gyms so far. In only one did it find a patron not wearing a mask. The gym provided the person a mask, so all 12 passed inspection.

It’s hoping to find the same compliance outdoors this week when it sends “social distance ambassadors” to Valley Green, which has gotten a lot of visitors lately who are not always masked and staying 6 feet apart.

In the meantime, the sanitation department continues to struggle to keep up with trash collection. 

Deputy Streets Commissioner Keith Warren said they’re now about three days behind.

“I would ask you to be patient. We are working probably now 16 days straight and more than eight hours a day to try to catch up and keep the streets free and clear of debris,” Warren said. 

Warren blames a combination of high volume and high absenteeism, both side effects of COVID-19.