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Open Thread: How can Philly combat its litter problem?

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Tired of being “filthadelphia”

The city implemented an action plan to deal with the problem
Photo by Jeff Fusco/Getty Images

It’s far from a secret, but Philly has a bad trash problem.

So bad, in fact, that the city produces 1.5 million tons of waste each year. And city officials have taken several measures in the past few years to dump (sorry) the “filthadelphia” moniker.

At the forefront is the Zero Waste and Litter Action Plan, introduced last year, which aims to make Philly litter-free by 2035. There are several aspects to the plan, including mandatory recycling at festivals and big events, and considering street sweeping. The plan made real moves early this year, when the city released its litter index, showing which streets and neighborhoods had the worst litter problems, in an effort to keep residents vigilant and informed about the issue.

Then, last month, the city released a study, examining whether trashcan placement had an effect on littering. They started by removing trash cans from some parks to see whether the litter problem increased. Unsurprisingly for many, it did, and it angered residents in the process, according to a Philly.com column.

Then, earlier this month, City Council passed a bill that would make it easier for residents and community leaders to get privately maintained trash cans on their streets, Philly.com wrote. The bill allows them to get free trash cans from the city, which the residents themselves would maintain and manage.

Of course, no one expects the trash problem to be fixed a mere year after the first major action plan was implemented, but it’s still a good idea to check in on the city’s progress, so tell us what you think:

How could city officials and council members work harder to eliminate the litter issue? What could residents do to cut back on litter issues? Are there any areas the city needs to be focusing on, specifically? Are there litter-reducing measures we’re overlooking?

If you want to give the action plan a read-over, you can check it out here. Otherwise, please sound off in the comments with your thoughts.

  • Zero Wate and Litter Cabinet [cleanphl.org]
  • New map reveals the state of litter in Philly [Curbed Philly]
  • No need for study: Don’t take away our trash cans [Philly.com]
  • Philly is so dirty, the city wants residents to help collect trash [Philly.com]
  • Zero Waste Action Plan introduced [Curbed Philly]