Trash talking in Chester

The conventional wisdom, among Left-leaning journalists, was that Jeff Brown committed an unforced error in a response to a question about Philly’s use of a trash-to-energy plant in Chester, an armpit along the Delaware.

Chester’s Covanta trash facility (Photo: Delco Times)

The chattering class had their say, followed by an op-ed Monday in the Philadelphia Inquirer written by Chester resident Zulene Mayfield. 

She was angry because the grocery-store-owning mayoral candidate, when asked about the facility where Philly ships some of its waste, said basically (and truthfully) it’s got to go somewhere, and as mayor he wants what’s best for Philly.

Isn’t that what we all want a mayor to do?

Not Fox 29’s Shiba Russell, who, clutching her pearls, snarled, “So you don’t care about Chester?”

As if that should be  on his resume. 

He said he did care, but any community getting the trash probably would not like it. Again, truthful, but not “political.”

“That’s not really an appropriate answer,” said Rebecca Rhynhart, who did not volunteer where she would send Philly trash, if elected.

And if it’s Philly politics, someone has to play the race card, and that was Cherelle Parker. “That response is the same way you treat the Black and brown community,” she lied, knowing very well he put his markets — his life blood — into Black and brown neighborhoods and hired the neighbors, including Black and brown ex-cons, who are treated as radioactive by most white employers. 

It was not the first time Parker lied about Brown’s business activities. Earlier in the campaign she mistated how much Brown pays his workers. 

Mayfield went a step further in demeaning Brown. “He was dismissing the humanity of Black and brown people everywhere.” Yes, everywhere.

“If trash has to go somewhere,” she asked, “why not send it to Chestnut Hill or Rittenhouse Square?”

I’ll answer that one.

Because Chestnut Hill and Rittenhouse Square did not vote to authorize a trash treatment business.

You know who did?

The Chester city council in 2014.

Question: If Chester approved trash-to-energy for its economic benefit, how is that Philadelphia’s fault? Or New Jersey, New York City, or Ocean City, Md., all of which sends their trash for treatment at the country’s largest trash incinerator.

When Mayfield talked about environmental racism, I went MEGO (My Eyes Glaze Over), as I do any time a spurious claim of racism is floated. (There are, of course, actual cases of racism, but this is not one.)

It happens Chester is majority minority, but that is not the reason Philly sends trash there. The reason is that Chester has a plant and wants Philly’s money. The Covanta trash operation pays beaucoup taxes to Chester. 

By the way, some of Philly’s trash gets sent to a landfill in the all-white Northeast. And Covanta has a plant in white Conshohocken. It ain’t the race, it’s the place that has the trash face.

Mayfield admitted she lives in a home across from the plant that burns 400,000 tons of Philly trash each year. I would not like living there. I do not like living on a street where private trash haulers arrive at 5 a.m., with their merry backup safety signals ding-ding-dinging. 

Ms. Mayfield, the Covanta trash facility in Chester is Chester’s problem, not Philadelphia’s. 

Removing it is your job, not Jeff Brown’s.

14 thoughts on “Trash talking in Chester”

  1. Why did the Inky feel the need to publish that BS op-ed? Ridiculous. I love MEGO. Added that one to my repertoire.

  2. The solution is to close the Chester Trash Plant. The residents do not want it and they should be the ultimate decision makers. Trash can be sent to other places that want to receive the trash.

    1. As I said, fixing that problem is Chester’s problem, BUT the Chester CitY Council, which represents the people, approved the facility. How do the majority of Chesterites feel about it? I don’t know, but I DO know it’s not Philadelphia’s fault.

  3. Hey Jeff Brown you should have asked Cherrelle Parker how she treats the Black and Brown kids who keep killing each other. She’s been in office and turns a blind eye to all the shootings. And Cherrelle don’t say it’s gun laws because thugs don’t respect laws.

  4. Visit the Shop Rite on Oregon Ave. Note the trash and used needles strewn about the property. I suspect there are other urban locations suffering a similar condition. I like the guy but he needs to demonstrate he can clean up his own house before taking on the City’s trash woes.

  5. When was the last time you even were north of Fishtown? The Northeast hasn’t been “all white” in at least a generation. And some formerly all-white neighborhoods like Oxford Circle are extremely diverse (Black/Hispanic/Asian/Indian).

    1. Correct, I was inexact. The facility is Port Richmond, which still is largely white, unlike the Lower Northeast. The Upper Northeast remains largely white.

  6. I worked in Chester for a couple of years. It’s a pretty sad place. However, your analysis of this particular situation seems apt, Darrow’s (correct) comment notwithstanding.

  7. Chester has filed for bankruptcy & has been in receivership under Gov. Wolf for years. One would think Chester could use every tax dollar they can. The latest article in the local paper there has the receivership leaning towards a disincorporation.

  8. 60 Years ago Chester was receiving Trash, Eddystone Too, and then it was mainly white, why the sudden crying? The trash hasn’t moved just the people.
    Then they were Dumps, now at least the trash is being processed.

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