Warning Tags on Ashcans Aid City’s Orderly Cleanup Drive

[This] is one of the stickers provided by Commissioner Frank J. Hartmann to ask the co-operation of householders in cleaning up city streets.

Camden Courier-Post – February 9, 1938

Hartmann’s Stickers Remind Housekeepers to Park Their Refuse So It Can Be Sold and Help In Two Ways

By Dan Boone

This is the third of a series of articles showing how co-operation of Camden citizens in ash and garbage disposal can improve the condition of the city’s streets.

“Notice — Refuse placed in this container not properly prepared-Department of Public Works.”

If any housewife found a sticker bearing those words on a garbage or ash receptacle outside her home today, she can be sure she is not doing all she might to co-operate with city refuse collections.

Commissioner Frank J. Hartmann decided on this new means of asking for the housekeeper’s cooperation after making an inspection throughout the city during the last few days.

Believing many householders do not realize they are failing to prepare their refuse properly for removal by the city, Hartmann sent a crew of eight men who started placing the stickers, on containers which showed failure to follow the city regulations for refuse removal.

Many Willing to Aid City

“After placing the sticker on the offending container,” Hartmann said, “our men knock at the door and ask the person responsible for putting out the refuse to aid the city in its efforts to improve the appearance of the streets by placing ashes, garbage and other refuse in their proper containers. If any persons are not sure how to do this, our men will show them.

“Today the collectors found a willingness to aid the department in its work and I am sure everyone will co-operate with us.

“But we want to make certain the citizens will help us. Our men will follow up the first sticker with one of a different color.

“For instance, if it is found that a housekeeper fails to remedy the situation after the first sticker is attached, we plan to put another sticker on the same container, with a warning that we will remove the container if it does not have the proper contents, properly prepared for collection.”

Could be Made to Pay Its Way

Commissioner Hartmann believes the collection of ashes, garbage and rubbish could be self-supporting in Camden if the citizens would do their part.

“The city might be able to make real money out of removal of refuse instead of being forced to consider this service as an expense,” he said.

“Camden is most fortunate in being able to dispose of its refuse as it does, by being possessed of a number of lots which are used as dumps. Philadelphia has a bad condition in that it must load its garbage on barges which are towed down the Delaware river and sunk offshore.

“In addition to the expense of towing such a long distance, the dumping of refuse in the ocean not far off some of South Jersey’s finest Summer resorts, leads to an unhealthy situation. Often we have seen the bathing beaches covered with refuse which has been washed in after a storm.

How City Could Make Profit

“Camden dumps its refuse on unused lots and while dumps are some what objectionable, Philadelphia’s situation is far worse.

“Here’s what the city could do if the householders would be more thoughtful in keeping their ashes, garbage and rubbish separate:

“The value of clean ashes to the city is so great that the subject will be taken up by itself. We would have no difficulty in selling old paper. That would bring in considerable revenue. during a year. Old tin cans and bottles each have a ready market of which the city could take advantage.

“While I do not approve personally of feeding garbage to pigs, and I would not eat any pork if I knew it came from pigs fed on garbage, the city has had a number of inquiries from pig-farmers throughout South Jersey asking if it would sell its garbage for that purpose.

Dumps Must Be Supplanted

“As conditions are now, that is impossible because householders seldom realize the importance of keeping their garbage separate, but dump it all together with ashes and trash, making it impossible to obtain any revenue, from the garbage alone. But the garbage could be sold, I am sure, if citizens would co-operate in this respect.

“Although dumps are being used now, they are being filled up and eventually Camden will have to find another method of ·disposal. Our problem would be simplified immeasurably if our citizens would aid us.”

The next article will show just how Camden could benefit if citizens would keep their ashes separate for collection by the city.

Tomorrow’s article will show how more co-operation by housekeepers would be of real financial benefit to the city.


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