Take out the trash, Philly
Philadelphia, often known for it’s Brotherly Love and as the founding place of America, is known for having another side. Often given the nickname of “Filthadelphia,” the city’s waste problem is well known, especially in residential areas.
From the empty lots that act as landfills to the trash on the sides of the streets in the more commercial areas, the trash is not something city dwellers can avoid. An article from Philadelphia Magazine highlighted that Philadelphia sanitation problem stands out more than others, even citing a book from 1989 book titled, Filthy Dirty: A Social History of Unsanitary Philadelphia in the Late Nineteenth Century.
The program. Streets & Walkways Education and Enforcement Program (SWEEP), was even created by the city to inform citizens about Sanitation code, employing uniformed officers capable of giving out tickets who distribute tickets to those who violate the code. But it is clear that even with law enforcement staff specifically dedicated to the issue, the city has not been able to get a handle on the waste problem or the litter throughout the city.
Even this year’s Spring Cleanup efforts, one of which was hosted by Keep Philadelphia Beautiful (a Keep America Beautiful affiliate), were not capable of making the communities so many Philadelphians are apart of feel clean or comfortable.
Despite the problems in the past, the city has been continuously dedicated to getting their waste under control with various PSA’s and community efforts. From the UnLitter Us campaign that was introduced under Mayor Nutter, to other efforts from local community organizations, many people have acknowledged the overflow of waste throughout the city. And the efforts to keep the city clean were pervasive and widely acknowledged, the waste has not declined and the problem persists.
However, on Tuesday, Mayor Kenney introduced a solution. By announcing the Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet, Kenney will attempt to get a handle on the litter in the city. The 16-member cabinet will introduce a plan of action within six months of being founded.
With the goal of making Philadelphia a “zero waste” city by 2035, a litter-free Philadelphia is a long way away.