Teeming Refuse: Philadelphia gets trashed

Philadelphia gets trashed

At a dozen dump sites in Philadelphia, mounds of refuse, piled in fantastic configurations, looked like some strange, fetid form of sculpture. For 18 days, while municipal garbage collectors remained on strike, the waste mounted to an estimated 20,000 tons. Clouds of flies hovered everywhere; rats scurried from their rancid treasure. Plastic trash bags became toxic balloons, swollen tight by noxious fumes from the detritus inside. "Trash entrepreneurs," driving around in vans, carted bags away for 75 cents each. Along with their luggage, residents even began taking their rubbish with them as they left for vacations in the Poconos or for...

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