Consumers Corner # 25


By Jim Murphy

If you are among the good Philadelphia residents who deposit trash in bins and not the street, here is wonderful news.

Many of the Bigbelly trash cans in center city now have an easy-open foot pedal.

So you no longer have to deal with the “yuck” factor of trying to figure out how to pull the handle down without touching it with your bare hands. These pedals are huge improvement.

 The B-Boys love bashing the Bigbelly

While I have been a fan of the Bigbelly containers since the day they arrived in 2009, city controller Alan Butkovitz and Philadelphia Daily News columnist Stu Bykofsky clearly are not.

The B-Boys – as I call rip them – rip the Bigbelly receptacles at every opportunity.

I think they both are misguided.

To me, the Lombard Street and South Street areas have far less trash blowing around than in pre-Bigbelly days. The cheap wire baskets Butkovitz loves so much routinely had their thin wind-whipped plastic bags blow right out of them, strewing trash all around.

While the Bigbelly containers are not perfect, they hold far more trash and I believe keep the area much cleaner.

New York City is a Bigbelly booster

New York City seems very happy with their Bigbelly containers. A blog on their site quotes Rick Simone, New York’s “rat whisperer” as saying the Bigbelly trash cans helped clean up the area near Columbus Park in Chinatown.

The bottom line: With the solar-powered trash compactors, Rick and his team reduced the number of rat burrows from 200 to 10.

“That’s a 95 percent reduction rate in rats there,” he said on the blog. “But more important was that the commissioner of health, several months later went out, called me, and said, ‘God, Columbus Park looks nice.’”

Philadelphia has signed a contract for 275 new units at a cost of $4,800 each with Green City Solutions LLC says the Philadelphia Inquirer. In return, the city gets 5 percent of ad revenue to maintain older receptacles and refurbish 125 non-pedal ones.

Look for pedal-operated Bigbelly containers near you. And let me know if you agree with the B-Boys or me.




The percent of the U.S. population that speaks a language other than English at home.


The percent of those above who speak Spanish at home.

$71 million

The potential cost resulting from a 1980 language misunderstanding in a Florida hospital case. Family members described an 18-year-old Cuban-American as intoxicado – “meaning nauseous or poisoned, perhaps from a bad hamburger,” says the Philadelphia Daily News. So physicians treated the patient for a drug overdose, instead of the bleeding in the brain that left him a quadriplegic. Depending on how long the young man lives, the payout could be $71 million. That’s why various groups are trying to be sure patients and families have reliable translators in heath care cases.

Source: philly.com



 Oldest Market Street in the U.S.

 Any city in the country that has a Market Street can thank Philadelphia. Ours was the first in the U.S., said historian Joseph Jackson in 1918.

As early as 1723, when Ben Franklin first came to Philly after being unable to find work as a printer New York, he described arriving at the Market Street Wharf.

Officially, the roadway was called High Street until the city renamed it in 1853. But William Penn’s twice-a-week market was so popular that locals called the thoroughfare Market Street early on.

How big was the market? The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia says: By 1859 a continuous series of sheds extended from the Delaware River to Eighth Street and again from Fifteenth to Seventeenth Streets, with breaks only at the intersections.”


Photo Credit

Jim Murphy


Jim Murphy is a direct marketing copywriter who has run his own consulting business since 2004. For nine years, he wrote and edited “Choices,” an award-winning credit union magazine with a circulation of 80,000. Jim is also a certified member of the Association of Philadelphia Tour Guide and writes historical articles for the Queen Village Neighbors Association magazine.

Any comments made are Jim’s opinion, and not necessarily those of the Old Pine Community Center.





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