On Monday mornings, from the amount of litter on 6th and 7th Street, you would think that there was a parade over the weekend. Back in the day, Allentown was known for it's cleanliness. Women in babushkas would compulsively hunt out any errant scrap of paper, and remove that offense to their pride. Allentown has changed. In 2006, the SWEEP program was put into place to milk center city property owners, fining them for tenants putting the wrong color container on the porch, at the wrong time. In 2011, the program burped $228,000.00 from the hapless owners. Now, with Allentown's Transformational arena coming, Allentown passed an ordinance quadrupling the littering fine from $25 to $100. "It's really difficult to see someone littering and actually catch them in the act," said Ann Saurman, director of recycling. "You see litter on the street, but you don't often see people littering." Actually, you can see them littering. Park near any center city market, and watch the wrappers drop like leaves off a tree in the fall.
photo:Denise Sanchez/The Morning Call
reprinted from June 2012
UPDATE: Mayor Ed Pawlowski's 8th Annual Cleanup Day will occur this coming April 26th. He once again asks that Allentown's conscientious volunteer to clean up after those who could care less. Bless the eager beavers, but considering the progress in the last eight years, perhaps a better strategy is in order. The Parking Authority should give tickets for littering. Although it's more confrontational to ticket a person, than to sneak away after ticketing an empty car, it would give the city a more positive result than we now achieve from that agency.