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Natural Awakenings Philadelphia

Making Philly Cleaner and Safer with Zero Waste

Oct 01, 2017 08:04PM

Philadelphia has a bold goal of becoming 90 percent zero waste- and litter-free by 2035. CleanPHL is working to improve the resources available to residents. In addition to being the home of a dynamic litter index, the Clean PHL website serves as a platform for learning about, and engaging in efforts that benefit the entire city, providing the steps needed to make a difference in each neighborhood.

The Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet is an interdepartmental effort to continually reduce the waste entering landfills or conventional incinerators, combat litter and enhance the cleanliness of streets and public spaces. Composed of major city departments and agencies, city council representatives and community stakeholders, chaired by the managing director’s office, the Cabinet will create subcommittees focusing on five target areas to make Philadelphia a less littered, zero waste city.

The data subcommittee will use collaborative and innovative data management processes and tools to collect and analyze existing waste data from each department represented in the cabinet and working group. This group will also assist with the development of a revamped litter index, building off of the streets department’s current litter index.

The community engagement subcommittee will develop strategies to engage city departments, residents, businesses and other stakeholders to better understand litter and waste challenges by using clear and unified messaging that’s informed by more sophisticated data, improved collaboration between city departments and increased outreach to city residents.

The waste reduction subcommittee will work with city departments and the commercial and residential communities of Philadelphia to better understand the overall diversion rates of the city and develop strategies for further reduction of the waste stream. This subcommittee will help to support the current waste reduction efforts of the departments and community stakeholders, as well as aid in the creation and coordination of new strategies across stakeholder groups.

The enforcement/cleaner public spaces subcommittee will work to audit the current enforcement, fines and penalties of littering and dumping to better understand what enforcement most effectively addresses litter and how to best coordinate enforcement efforts. This subcommittee will also use data collected from the data subcommittee to determine the best strategies for waste management and waste collection.

The behavioral science subcommittee will work with outside experts to analyze individual habits and neighborhood conditions with a goal of informing public messaging and initial neighborhood strategies to reduce litter and raise awareness of waste collection systems.

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