The City continues to develop programs aimed at improving education and increasing participation.

With a better understanding of the problems and the resources available to you to help solve them, you can better make a difference in your neighborhood.

The Vision for a Cleaner City.

Making zero happen. It might not sound like much, but it means everything. The City has a bold goal of becoming 90% zero waste and litter-free by 2035. And we can’t get there without your help. It starts with knowing the recycling Ins and Outs. It means reusing more and wasting less. It starts with one. One person setting the example. One business making sustainable choices. One City coming together to make zero happen.

A litter-free City starts with you.

The City of Philadelphia Litter Index is a map-based survey of the litter conditions of the City’s streets, parks and recreation sites, public school sites, green stormwater infrastructure, river ways, and vacant lots. It allows City departments to create more coordinated responses to litter conditions and inform residents through a searchable database of the litter conditions in their neighborhood and surrounding areas.

The litter index is conducted by staff in the departments responsible for the surveyed city assets and property. The index is digitized using cloud-based surveys taken on tablets using GPS coordinates to ensure accuracy. Along with an estimated litter count on a city asset or property, field surveyors also give a 1-4 litter rating based on metrics from Keep America Beautiful, with a rating of 1 being little to no litter and a rating of 4 being litter that would require a large cleaning effort and/or heavy machinery to remove debris.

The litter index application also provides a sidebar with information related to the resources an area has to encourage residents to do their part to keep their neighborhoods clean. If your area does not have a particular resource, please click on its link to find out how to bring it your neighborhood.

It’s the goal of the Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet that the litter index will be the tool that allows all of our neighborhoods to strive for zero litter because Zero Starts With One. And a cleaner City starts with you.

The key to achieving our City’s zero waste goal is community education on litter abatement and source separating our waste.

This is why the Waste Watchers program was created—to empower Philadelphians to educate their communities and conduct neighborhood cleanups using zero waste principles. In addition to taking these actions in their neighborhoods, Waste Watcher Captains and full teams are also available to assist Philadelphia events, big and small, in providing source separated waste bins as well as volunteers to educate event attendees on where to place waste materials to reduce contamination and to make events as sustainable as possible. Waste Watchers provides a three bin system that separates landfill waste, recycling, and compost.

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