Those who live in the Commonwealth’s capital say there’s too much trash in Harrisburg. “It’s just everywhere, alley ways, it’s filthy. Very disgusting” said Harrisburg resident Sakinah McDuffie. “All I see is trash. I’m walking through trash. Trash is just all over” said another Harrisburg resident Rhonda Lee. A third resident, Melretha Graham, said “nobody wants to walk up a block and have it be stinking.”
Harrisburg’s city codes administrator, David Patton, agrees. “No matter where you go in the city it’s not any one particular area. The issue has been going on for a number of years” said Patton. Now the city is doing something about it by creating a new job. Whoever is hired would be tasked with writing citations for people who leave their trash outside without putting it in a closed bin like you’re supposed to.
“Right now our general penalty is fifty to a thousand dollars. I think it’s the administration’s opinion that that can be quite excessive” said Patton. He also acknowledged that violators will most likely get a notice first followed by increased fines for people who don’t clean up their act. “I mean it’s not that we want to give anybody fines, but it’s going to be hopefully a deterrent mechanism that will encourage people to break that behavioral software” said Patton. Many of the residents we spoke with support the idea because it’s about being held accountable. “People are just not caring enough to want to keep the city clean. We already have enough issues in the city so why should it look trashy when it doesn’t need to be” said Rhonda Lee.
The city codes administrator said it could take a couple months before the position is filled. So far the city is just hiring one person, but could hire more if needed.