90-Year-Old Woman Ticketed For Placing Trash Out Too Early - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

90-Year-Old Woman Ticketed For Placing Trash Out Too Early

Posted: Updated:
Margaret Kulla, 90, tells FOX 29 she is upset after receiving a $50 ticket for placing her trash out too early. Margaret Kulla, 90, tells FOX 29 she is upset after receiving a $50 ticket for placing her trash out too early.
PHILADELPHIA -

In a city where trash-filled neighborhoods have earned it the nickname "Filth-adelphia," it's a story that makes city residents want to tear their hair out.

"Why they picked on me," says Margaret Kulla, " I have no idea."

She's 90-years-old and walks with a cane.

But Kulla is, figuratively speaking, hopping mad!

"The way I'm treated, like I was nothing- just an old piece of you-know-what!"

The elderly Fox Chase woman is talking about the $50 citation she received from the city's Streets and Walkways Education and Enforcement Program-- SWEEP-- for placing her trash out too early.

"They (the trash police) don't know how old I am," Kulla told FOX 29's Bruce Gordon.

And they don't know her circumstances.

Margaret can't get down her back stairs and drag the trash can the 15 feet from her garage to the edge of her short driveway in the back alley she shares with homes on Benson Street.

So, her caretaker, Justine Jean Baptiste, showed us how SHE takes the trash out when she leaves the house around noon each Wednesday-- for the Thursday morning pick-up.

Technically, that's five hours too early. But they've been doing it this way for several years.

Has Margaret ever gotten any kind of warning notice that she was breaking the rules?

"No," she says. "Nothing."

Philadelphia trash collection rules vary by neighborhood.

Generally, trash cans may be put our no earlier than 7 p.m. the night before pick-up. In Margaret's neighborhood they can go out as early as 5 p.m.

The goal is to limit the time the cans sit out, so they don't block the sidewalks for pedestrians.

In fact, Margaret's citation suggests that's the reason for her fine.

But the photo on the citation clearly shows her can sitting on a patch of grass at the edge of her property.

It's not blocking anything.

Her alleyway has no sidewalks-- it's basically a shared driveway.

Margaret says she called the Streets Department to explain her situation.

"So you know what she says? 'I don't care how old you are. This is the rules, and you have to abide by the rules! It's frustrating. Look, I can't throw away $50 just like that. You know what I mean? After all, I'm on a limited income."

FOX 29s Gordon spent much of Wednesday afternoon on the phone with the Philadelphia Streets Department, pleading Margaret's case, and they are not willing to budge.

There's no question the can was put out early.

The clock doesn't lie.

But in this case, there are extenuating circumstances.

And this is the kind of situation that drives Philadelphians crazy: some neighborhoods are buried in garbage, with no apparent enforcement of the rules, while a 90-year-old woman gets a ticket for putting her can out early in a spotless alleyway.

  • Send Email To FOX 29 News

    Have problems? Tell us.

    FOX 29 News is #GettingResults.

    * denotes required fields
    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Thanks for contacting FOX 29 News!

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Only On Fox: Arsonist On The Loose In South Jersey Town

    Only On Fox: Arsonist On The Loose In South Jersey Town

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 4:45 PM EDT2014-04-16 20:45:07 GMT
    It started with a brush fire, then another fire at the rear of this home on Monroe Street and finally a blaze that swept through this vacant home up the block, just a few feet away from where Emma Sethman
    It started with a brush fire, then another fire at the rear of this home on Monroe Street and finally a blaze that swept through this vacant home up the block, just a few feet away from where Emma Sethman
  • Beautiful Easter Sunday

    Saturday, April 19 2014 8:09 PM EDT2014-04-20 00:09:12 GMT

    NICE EASTER WEEKEND

    The first half of the holiday weekend has been great and Easter Sunday looks just as nice. Clouds thin out late tonight with temperatures falling back to the 40s.

    Initially it'll be jacket weather early Sunday morning but plenty of sunshine will warm us into the 60s by afternoon.  High temperatures will be a few degrees cooler than Saturday.

    It will be noticeably cooler and breezy at the shore with highs in the low 50s.  Quiet conditions continue into Monday.

  • Overturned Boat Victim Identified, Search Continues

    Overturned Boat Victim Identified, Search Continues

    Overturned Boat Victim Identified, Search Continues

    Saturday, April 19 2014 7:38 PM EDT2014-04-19 23:38:03 GMT
    The Coast Guard have suspended an emergency search for a man who went overboard in a boat after he went missing. New Jersey State Police have identified him as 49-year old John J. Poltonowicz.
    The Coast Guard have suspended an emergency search for a man who went overboard in a boat after he went missing. New Jersey State Police have identified him as 49-year old John J. Poltonowicz.
Powered by WorldNow

WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
5151 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016
Main Number: (202) 244-5151
Newsroom: (202) 895-3000
fox5tips@wttg.com

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices