The Litter Problem in Philadelphia


All over the city of Philadelphia, there is litter flooding the streets. The City has put some initiatives in place to try and beautify the neighborhoods like the Litter Index in 2018. This app allows those on the street to survey the streets, vacant lots, park and recreation sites, riverways, and more public spaces they pass and give it a rating: 1-4, 1 being the cleanest and 4 being the most littered. However, trash is still filling our streets and floating into our rivers and other waterways. Philadelphia hads a combined sewer system which means both sewage and stormwater go through it. Trash ends up in the Delaware and Schuylkill River, some of our main water sources.  

There are some simple tips that can help prevent more litter in our neighborhoods:

  • When taking out the trash, make sure there is no trash at the top that could easily fly away like newspapers or cans and bottles. If you have a lid, securely place it on the trash can. 
  • Encourage local businesses and organizations to place a trash can outside of their establishment. 
  • Host a street cleanup on your block. Ask your neighbors to participate. Contact local organizations for funding of supplies! Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful- register your event and you may receive supplies
  • Call or email your local representatives encouraging Philly to create a comprehensive street cleaning program.

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