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Waste coalition asks the next Mayor to clean up the city
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Waste coalition asks the next Mayor to clean up the city

Frustrated with the state of the littered city, six groups are asking the mayoral candidates to commit to zero waste.

Philadelphians are tired of littered streets. Plus, it’s not cheap: Philadelphia spends close to $50 million annually to deal with litter and illegal dumping.

With a primary election in the future, environmental advocates are asking the next mayor to do something about it.

Waste Free Philly, a coalition of six sustainability and anti-litter advocates, announced a 5-point Mayoral Agenda for a Clean and Waste-Free Future for Philadelphia this morning during a press conference at Girard College.

Coalition members that are working to reduce waste, eliminate litter, end illegal dumping, and move Philadelphia to a circular economy include Circular Philadelphia, Clean Air Council, Clean Water Action, Plastic Reduction Task Force of Weavers Way, Philadelphia Neighborhood Networks and Clean Philadelphia Now: A collaboration between Trash Academy and Clean Water Action.

Waste Free Philly’s 5-Point Agenda for a waste-free city:

  1. Create a Mayor’s Office of Zero Waste to direct waste operations across city government and appoint a new position of Deputy Streets Commissioner for Zero Waste.
  2. Appoint experienced and accomplished individuals to waste leadership positions including Streets Commissioner, Deputy Streets Commissioner of Zero Waste, Deputy Streets Commissioner of Collection and Abatement.
  3. Recommit to implementing the Zero Waste and Litter Action Plan.
  4. Establish a program to end litter and dumping by 2028.
  5. Regain public trust in how the city collects trash and recycling
Photo: Waste Free Philly Press Conference on 2/1/23. Courtesy of Sarah Maiellano

In the last eight years, recycling has dropped from 22 to 8 percent, and waste collection has never been so inefficient,” said Maurice Sampson in a press release. Sampson is the Eastern Pennsylvania Director for Clean Water Action, who served as the city’s first recycling coordinator in 1985 under Mayor Wilson Goode. “This will only change if the next Mayor is firmly committed to changing the culture from waste collection for incineration to collection for recovery for the circular economy.”

Littered sidewalks not only affect the streets but also our waterways.

Read the coalition’s full Mayoral Agenda on their website.

Broke in Philly
Broke in Philly is a collaborative reporting project on solutions to poverty and the city’s push toward economic justice. Green Philly is one of more than 20 news organizations in the collective. Follow us on Twitter @BrokeInPhilly.
Every Voice, Every Vote
Green Philly is a part of Every Voice, Every Vote, a collaborative project of The Lenfest Institute for Journalism. Lead support is provided by the William Penn Foundation with additional funding from The Lenfest Institute, Peter and Judy Leone, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Harriet and Larry Weiss, and the Wyncote Foundation, among others. To learn more about the project and view a full list of supporters, visit www.everyvoice-everyvote.org. Editorial content is created independently of the project’s donors.

Cover photo: Steve Weinik

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Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake. View all posts by Julie Hancher
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