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Littering Issues in Philadelphia

Citizens Bank Park - Trash - 2011 NLDS

Citizens Bank Park - Trash - 2011 NLDS Game 5

Photo courtesy of crossingbroad.com

I had the pleasure of attending the miserable NLDS Game 5 between the Phillies and Cardinals on Friday night.  While Ryan Howard lay on the field, writhing in pain after making the final out (2nd year in a row) and simultaneously blowing out his Achilles, the St. Louis Cardinals celebrated their advancement to the NLCS right next to him.  I was as stunned, disgusted, and upset about the way the 2011 Phillies season ended as everyone in the ballpark, but the last thing I thought about doing was throwing my trash onto the field.  That’s exactly what many of my fellow fans did think to do as you can see in the above picture.  It’s a pretty low rent way of expressing oneself.

There happens to be an unrelated article on philly.com today called LITTER-ALLY DISGUSTING about the littering that goes on in Philadelphia.  One major issue is the businesses that shove circulars, menus, and printed ads into door cracks and mailboxes.  They usually wind up blowing away into the street.  The other big problem is the people who blatantly just drop their trash on the ground and then go about their business (or throw trash on a baseball field to express anger and frustration.)

More than 100,000 fines were issued for trash-related violations in 2011.  More than 600 tickets went to business that ignored residents with the no-circular sticker.  21,219 tickets were issued to people not separating recycling from trash and 1,429 littering tickets were given out.

Among the several difficulties in the struggle to enforce litter laws, [Deputy Streets Commissioner Carlton] Williams said, is that it’s hard to fine people for littering because offenders must be caught in the act. SWEEP officers have partnered with police to keep tabs on high-grime areas, Williams said.  Although officers could sit in high-traffic areas watching and waiting to issue people tickets for littering, Williams said that that type of stakeout would be impractical.  “It is very difficult to sustain such an operation because of the tremendous amount of resources needed from the Streets Department and the Police Department to change and deter this behavior long-term,” he said. –Philly.com – LITER-ALLEY DISGUSTING

City of Philadelphia - Circular Free PropertyCome on people… it’s 2011, there are trash cans and recycling containers on every corner of the city, please stop littering already!  Here are some more tips from Philly.com on how to play a part to keep Philly clean: A cleaner city? it comes down to you

1 Become a block captain. Or if there’s already a block captain, find one for a neighboring block. The city has programs that are available only if there is a block captain to take the reins. For one, “Adopt A Basket,” the block captain takes responsibility for maintaining a trash can on a residential block.

2 Keep an eye on your trash collectors. If your block is dirtier after the truck comes on trash day, call 3-1-1 to report it. Every truck comes with a broom and dustpan, and it is every crew’s job to pick up after themselves. And keep your 3-1-1 tracking number. Without it, you won’t be able to check progress on your complaint.

3 Get a “circular-free-property” sticker. The sticker is supposed to deter businesses from putting fliers in your door, railing, etc. You can get the sticker by calling 3-1-1, or by going to philly.com/pickitup. When it doesn’t work – and it won’t – complain to 3-1-1 and the business will be fined $100.

4 Enlist your local school. The Streets Department’s Litter Free School Zone program recruits students to pick up around their schools. They also run assemblies that teach kids not to litter and about the benefits of a litter-free life. The school district has committed to promote the program this year, but parents should contact administrators at their kids’ school and urge them to participate.

5 Pick up after yourself – and others. The UnlitterUs antilitter program sponsors blocks and commercial corridors that have shown a dedication to sweeping up after themselves and others. Contact them at 215-686-5560 or call the Philadelphia More Beautiful Committee at 215 685-3981 to coordinate regular neighborhood cleanups, and UnlitterUs will give you signs declaring a Litter Free Zone. Or, when you see a piece of trash on the ground, pick it up. –A cleaner city? it comes down to you

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