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Woman urges City Council to hold citywide 'Happy Trash Day'

Artist Jenny Drumgoole, who already holds her own "Happy Trash Day" events for sanitation workers, testified City Council should do the same citywide.

happy trash day A local artist urged City Council to hold a citywide "Happy Trash Day" to celebrate sanitation workers.
Credit: File photo / Rikard Larma

Philadelphia artist Jenny Drumgoole testified Thursday before City Council, urging the legislature to enact a citywide "Happy Trash Day" for sanitation workers.

Her comments came in response to legislation sponsored by Councilman Brian O'Neill changing the annual sanitation fees the city charges to owner-occupied duplexes.

"When I read the bill, it didn't say how the extra money that is going to be coming in is going be spent," Drumgoole said.

"Now, my favorite day of the week is trash day, and there's no one that works harder for the city of Philadelphia than the men and women who collect our trash."

Drumgoole said she thinks sanitation workers should get more recognition for the part they play in keeping the city running.

"As a citizen of Philadelphia, I decided the best thing I could do was make my own 'Happy Trash Day,'" she said.

Drumgoole said she and her best friend have hung banners and balloons on their block, made crafts and held a pizza party for trash collectors.

"I would argue that a portion of the proceeds from [the bill], that the additional fees go, in some way, directly to the trash collectors of Philadelphia, either in the form of an increase in their pay or a citywide 'Happy Trash Day,'" she said.

She suggested Council could also designate one day a year as "Happy Trash Day," because "no one says thank you anymore, and a little recognition goes a long way."

Drumgoole concluded by saying, "Philadelphia trash collectors deserve a 'Happy Trash Day,'" and inviting attendees to her own "Happy Trash Day" celebration next week.

"I thought that was great testimony and I hope the Streets Department does do something once a year to follow that example," O'Neill said in response to Drumgoole's testimony.

He continued he wanted to make it clear to his colleagues the sanitation tax on duplexes was implemented 5 years ago.

"This is an amendment that would actually remove half of the $300 [fee] from owner-occupied duplexes, so there is a reduction in the amount [of revenue] the city will receive next year," he clarified.

That amendment was unanimously approved.

Councilman David Oh also responded to Drumgoole's sentiments.

"I wanted to thank the young lady for putting up banners and signs for the sanitation workers," he said.

"It's a wonderful idea. I never thought of that, but you might have started something new. I think everyone should appreciate our municipal workers."

 
 
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