Those who frequent Penn Treaty Park know how littered it is with plastic bags, beer cans, shattered glass, cigarette butts and the empty packs they used to call home. The trash is surely enough to steer potential visitors clear of the riverfront park.
Fishtowners, fear no more. A team of superheroes wielding trash bags and bearing rubber gloves has come to rescue Penn Treaty from its formerly filthy existence.
Co-hosted by local organic cleaning service Philly Maid Green and art collective Bangarang, the cleanup took place Saturday afternoon. Over 30 volunteers, all dressed in superhero costumes, spent their weekend picking up trash in the park to the tunes of DJs Nate Dark and Mighty Mike Saga.
Bri Dinan, who owns Philly Maid Green, said the cleanup was inspired by Burning Man, a famously anarchic arts festival in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert.“They have a philosophy of ‘leave no trace,’” she said.
Bangarang, which is a frequent Burning Man festival-goer, in particular has embraced that doctrine. “They were inspired by going to the festivals and cleaning up after themselves,” Dinan added.
That’s why people who attend Burning Man refer to litter as “MOOP,” or, “matter out of place.” Dinan said the volunteers on Saturday picked up at least 10 bags full of MOOP.
Per Bangarang’s Facebook event page for the cleanup: “The system lets too much MOOP run amok across the city, and we are the only ones who can stop it!”
Except, there was one slight dilemma. And it had to do with the the fact that the city, upon request, picks up trash after cleanups, but it does not send out a recycling truck.
“We really wanted to sort stuff and recycle it,” Dinan said. “It’s a shame because the city didn’t want to pick up recycling.”
She said those bags of “matter out of place” are now out of place somewhere else. “I wish it could have been sorted more efficiently, but at least it’s out of the park,” she said. “You’re moving the waste, but you’re not getting rid of the waste problem.”
Image via Tony Abraham-30-
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