Tiffany Collins had just dropped the trash on the curb outside her South Philadelphia home Monday morning when she turned to find a surly sight -- a city sanitation worker urinating into a bottle in an alley across the street.
“Actually, I laughed. I thought, are you serious? You’re supposed to be cleaning up the block and then you’re going and urinating along the street,” she said.
Dumbfounded by the worker’s brash choice to publicly use the restroom along her block of S. Croskey Street, the mother of three young kids grabbed her smart phone and started recording.
“It’s like a slap in the face. It’s bad enough to live around the violence in this neighborhood,” she said.
When he’s finished, the man can be seen twisting on the cap to the bottle he just urinated in and then tossing it back into the alley. He then heads up the street to his trash truck.
“He picked up his gloves and just kept on doing his job like nothing happened,” she said. “Just all around sickening. My children don’t need to see something like that.”
Collins called the unidentified worker’s actions a “slap in the face” to the street’s homeowners. She says the residents are hardworking and often clean the street.
“I try to keep my block as clean as possible for my children…the outside represents the inside of the home, that’s the way I was raised,” she said.
NBC10.com shared Collins’ video with the Philadelphia Streets Department Tuesday. In a statement, spokeswoman June Cantor said the department was “appalled” by the staffer’s actions.
“Our department’s mission is to continuously provide clean and safe streets. Quality of life is very important to us as a department and division,” the statement read in part. “The employee has been identified and notified of the intent to discipline. On behalf of the Streets Department and the City of Philadelphia, we extend a humble apology.”
To further apologize for the man’s actions, the Streets Department sent a crew to the block Tuesday afternoon to clean up the alley where he urinated.
Cantor said the department has a policy requiring crews use a bathroom in a public building while on the street. She says workers are well-informed about the rule.
The department has cited the worker for urinating in public and littering and he will, at a minimum, be suspended for several days without pay.
Asked whether the worker should be fired, Collins said no.
“I think everyone deserves a second chance. It’s hard enough for people to find a job as it is,” she said.