In September 2018, we released our first pilot neighborhood litter control plan, created in partnership with the Southwest Community Development Corporation (CDC) and many other organizations serving the southwest section of the city. We expect to take the experience of this effort to other Philadelphia neighborhoods and to continue to work with stakeholders in Southwest Philadelphia on litter abatement and prevention strategies.
Needs Assessment Work & Preliminary Actions
Through the Neighborhood Litter Control Plan process, City agencies and community organizations work together to engage residents and other stakeholders in identifying the most pressing litter and illegal dumping-related issues in a neighborhood. In March 2018, the Streets Department and Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet were joined by many other stakeholders at a community feedback session, where a set of programs and initiatives were identified for the area and then implemented. Highlights include:
The Streets Department Neighborhood Recovery Project is conducted, which includes the following activities in areas targeted through the Litter Index:
Increased SWEEP ticketing for litter violations
Cleanup of illegal dumping on lots
Continued maintenance of cleaned areas and continued ticketing
Philadelphia Future Track participants worked in teams across Southwest Philadelphia on various cleaning, transportation, and sanitation-related projects. Future Track’s work resulted in:
Debris removal from alleys, blocks, and vacant lots
The Philadelphia More Beautiful Committee Block Captain Network continues to work hard to recruit new Block Captains and further engage existing Block Captains.
SEPTA and Amtrak have partnered with the Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet over the past year to identify opportunities to improve conditions on the Airport Line, which runs through the boundaries of this Neighborhood Litter Control Plan. Amtrak and SEPTA installed 50 “No Dumping” signs along the corridor and coordinated “track outages,” which allow both organizations to conduct cleaning and graffiti removal. Both organizations are also committed to securing any open fencing and have begun coordinated cleanups, with major cleaning of multiple sites, including this Elmwood Avenue site:
The Philadelphia Police Department Neighborhood Services Unit tows abandoned vehicles.
Philadelphia Licenses and Inspections takes action against automotive shops that are out of compliance.
As a direct result of community feedback, five interventions were determined as key to sustained neighborhood beautification throughout Southwest Philadelphia. These interventions are intended to address the main causes of litter as identified by both community stakeholders and the City: vacant land and open space that lead to illegal dumping, a lack of lighting in strategic areas to deter illegal dumping and other crimes, and scrap yards and automotive shops. The five interventions developed for Southwest Philadelphia are:
Illegal Dumping Enforcement
Vacant Land Stabilization
Block Captain Recruitment and Engagement
Read the full plan to learn more about these interventions and how the City plans to measure success in each of these areas. The City plans to revisit this plan with the Southwest Philadelphia community on a quarterly basis to track progress, address concerns in a timely manner, and take advantage of new opportunities as they arise. We will also use the annual litter indexing to monitor improvements in litter scores on specific blocks and vacant lots as well as across the entire geographic boundaries of this plan.
Stakeholder engagement sessions provided an opportunity for community members to participate in a poll, submit in writing or by voice specific quality of life issues in their community pertaining to Zero Waste and Litter and Vision Zero.