Philadelphia’s Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet is excited to announce the expansion of the Community Cans Program to eight neighborhoods throughout the city.
Community Cans is a public-private partnership program through which the City of Philadelphia partners with community organizations, commercial corridor managers, and businesses to increase public trash can coverage along Philadelphia commercial corridors. Community partners take responsibility for maintaining the cans, which are strategically placed to improve litter conditions along each specific corridor.
The City consults with each participating group to determine the best location for each Community Can, using City-wide Litter Index data along with maps of existing trash can locations to place the Community Cans to most effectively reduce litter and illegal dumping.
Since the launch of the program in 2018, the City has consulted with 24 different community groups for Community Cans, and eight groups have installed a total of 65 Community Cans throughout the city. Among the groups that have installed Community Cans are Southwest CDC and the African Cultural Alliance of North America (ACANA) in Southwest Philadelphia, Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership (TTF) in Juniata, and Minda Living in Fairmount.
One of the Community Cans program’s innovative features is that it is designed to promote engagement with community members through the design and decoration of the Community Cans lids, which are designed by local artists and painted by community members at community paint day events.
“Community Cans really aims to engage businesses and community groups in keeping their neighborhoods clean,” said Zero Waste and Litter Director Nic Esposito. “Trash cans that have an artistic design on the lid and are vibrant and beautiful emphasize neighborhood personality and pride and connect users back to the community group or business that is taking care of that trash can.”
The Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet partnered with the Mural Arts Institute to develop a Community Cans Artmaking Guide for participating groups to use as a resource for working with artists and community to design and paint Community Cans lids. The guide draws on the experiences of other Philadelphia neighborhoods in the program and provides helpful tips and a step-by-step manual for other groups to utilize.
The City is looking to work with as many groups as possible to bring Community Cans to more neighborhoods and improve litter conditions throughout Philadelphia.
Download the Community Cans Artmaking Guide.