A photo a day hopes to keep Harrisburg trash away

Nowadays when a political figures posts a trashy photo on social media there is an immediate public frenzy. Well, City Councilwoman Sandra Reid hopes that is the case as she vows to take a photo of trash every single day in May.

The first photo Reid posted Friday morning was a garbage-filled alley in Allison Hill. Abc27 met with Reid on site to tour the trash.

“I’m terrified of rodents,” said Reid. “I’m terrified…if I see a rodent I’m telling you..it’s going to be something.”

What appeared to be rat-infested piles of debris, Reid pointed out the broken glass, splintered wood, and dirty mattresses dumped along the 1800 block of Helen Alley.

“Nobody should live like this,” said Reid.

Unfortunately, Virginia Palmer is living near this filth.

“It’s been terrible at times,” she said.

The 40-year resident said trash has trampled her neighborhood as of recent. She believed illegal dumpers use Helen Alley as a continuous site.

“It’s terrible,” Palmer said. “It’s heartbreaking.”

People like Palmer are the reason why Reid said she vows to continue posting a trash photo every day, until people get sick of it.

“I can take a picture every single day for 30, 40, 50, 60 days and not run out of brand new pictures,” Reid said. “Only the City of Harrisburg has this problem…why?!”

Reid explained the city has since enacted programs that offer residents free recycling bins, free trash cans, and free pickup of one bulk item a week. She said solutions have been presented, but residents have not ceased the opportunity to change. No longer will Harrisburg enable residents’ trashy habits.

“Basically, going to go around and be like the ticket police,” she said. “Drive around and basically ticket. Ticket houses when your drive up on the house and you see this kinda of a mess…we can actually start enforcement.”

Reid proposed fines to be $25 each, but explained that has not been decided upon just yet. She explained another trash campaign dubbed “C.O.O.P.E.” will soon be rolled out.

Palmer agreed that residents must be held accountable.

“It’s up to us,” she said. “It’s homeowners to do the maintenance. To keep it clean every day. You notice on my block…everybody on my block we sweep.”

Reid said those are refreshing words. She has expressed her battle against blight and trash often falls on deaf ears. She spoke with Palmer.

“Trust and believe me…I’m out here working trying to get it together. Because this is ridiculous,” Reid told Palmer. “You shouldn’t have to put up with this.”

Palmer told Reid she is carrying on the work of the late Eugenia Smith. Wearing a button with Smith’s photo, Reid was certainly touched by those remarks.

The display of community has become infectious. Palmer vowed not to let Reid tussle with trash alone.

“I would be glad to help her,” said Palmer. “Living here for 40 years, I would be glad to help her. Anything I can do. She can call on me, I can help her.”

People can get a head start on cleaning up trash by volunteering in the Great Harrisburg Cleanup that’ll take place Saturday, May 3 from 9am to 1pm. People can still register by calling 717-232-9757.

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