My appalling birthplace (sixth in an infinite series)

Hat tip to Kathleen for alerting me to this one–I couldn’t make this stuff up, folks:

Frozen Sewage Piled Up in West Scranton–For Now

First sentence:  “On top of their regular snow-clearing duties this week, Scranton officials are weighing what to do with chunks of frozen sewage piled up in the 300 block of North Garfield Avenue.”

Later in the article the phrase “glacier of sewage” appears.  Ah, winter in Scranton.

(By the way, this is my 100th entry at Pennamite.  “Glacier of sewage” was totally worth it.)

UPDATE: Kathleen sent along the latest news, which says that the “piles of frozen sewage” have been removed (taken to a landfill in Dunmore, of course).  But the director of public works thinks the situation was overblown, because “It was really only mostly water.”  Oh!  And that smell will go away, “once we get a good rain.”    Beautiful.



8 Responses to “My appalling birthplace (sixth in an infinite series)”

  1. Lisa Clarke Says:

    So, then, if I were yearning to simplify my life, leave New Jersey behind, and move West – not too far from home, maybe an hour or two, and far enough for it to be a new beginning, and a less cluttered existence than I am currently living – you would recommend keeping Scranton off of my list of possibilities? (Just a guess on my part) 😀

  2. pennylrichardsca Says:

    Scranton is where NJ dumps its really gross/hazardous/illegal waste. (That sounds like a joke, but I know that for a while in the 1980s it was a fact: a Scranton landfill had a contract with New Jersey to dispose of some really nasty stuff. For all I know, the arrangement stands.)

  3. Grace Says:

    So you and Joe Biden agree about Scranton?

  4. Penny Says:

    Thus the infinite series!

  5. Connie Richards Says:


    Please remove this from your website. The problem has been cleared up the headline is “West side sewage mess now gone”..
    The writer is Jeremy G. Burton. Piles of frozen sewage that lined a block of North Garfield Avenue have been cleaned up and disposed of at a local landfill.

    Over the weekend, the Scranton Sewer Authority arrrived with a tractor loader to haul the waste into a truck bound for Keystone Sanitary Landfill in Dunmore. Executive Director Eugene Barrett said the city asked the authority to clear the problem since it is permitted to handle such waste.

    The icy sewage was the result of a leak from 367 N. Garfield Avenue, which last week was condemned and had the water shut off. Michael Topa, who lives at the bottom of the hill where the sewage pooled and froze, said it was an ongoing problem that went unaddressed for months as he tried to get multiple agencies to fix it.

    Jeff Brazil, director of public works, said the situation was overblown, and the city responded promptly and reasonably for Mr. Topa.

    ” It was really mostly water,’ Mr. Brazil said.

    At one point, DPW crews salted and broke up the foot thick icy waste, piling it mostly into a vacant lot next to 350 Garfield Ave. Mr. Brazil said at the time the city didn’t know it contained sewage.

    “They looked at it as ice,” Mr. Topa said.

    Mr. Topa said he is happy to see it gone, but it never should have reached such a critical point.

    ” Once we get a good rain, the smell should be gone and all of it should be taken care of, ” he said.

    Contact the writer:


    Enough about bad things about Scranton!!

  6. Penny Says:

    Yeah, I linked to that article in the update, but it doesn’t exactly make Scranton look better, does it? (“mostly water”–seriously? All sewage is “mostly water.” It still doesn’t belong in the street.)

    So, expect MANY more episodes in the “My appalling birthplace” series– because I really never, ever get tired of hilariously awful stories about Scranton.

  7. Sue McG Says:

    Ah Penny, you had me at “chunks of frozen sewage” 🙂

  8. Sue McG Says:

    heh heh, ‘mostly water’ reminds me of Star Trek “ugly bags of mostly water” was the description the aliens had for humans :-O

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