Parker reveals more of her plan to make Philly ‘Clean and Green’

The effort will include crews dedicated to neighborhood cleanup and more trash cans on city streets.

sign for street cleaning

Street cleaning in Philadelphia. (Elizabeth Estrada/WHYY)

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Mayor Cherelle Parker’s campaign to make Philadelphia more “Clean and Green” took center stage Wednesday during council budget hearings.

Clean and Green was a key Parker campaign promise. The concept is starting to take shape, with workers being trained for neighborhood street cleanings later this year.

Carlton Williams, director of the Office of Clean and Green Initiatives, offered council a peek behind the curtain.

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“These will be 10-person crews per district. They operate Tuesday through Saturday, a day behind trash collection day,” Williams explained. “They are being recruited now through our Future Track program.”

Williams said the crews could cover about 30 city blocks a day.

Council President Kenyatta Johnson suggested that crews follow trash trucks on the same day.

“Because sometimes… the wind will blow the trash after the trash trucks go,” he said.

What Johnson described as “trash truck juice” has fouled some neighborhoods. He called for crews to be available to clean it up as the trucks proceeded through them.

Williams said the city’s recycling collection number is up, but it continues to work to increase the number in an effort to divert trash from landfills.

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The program will also include environmental stewardship and other efforts on the elementary school level, as well as an anti-litter campaign across the city. Parker called on Philadelphians to “join the fight” against litter, because, “We can’t clean up this city alone.”

The efforts will also include the removal of abandoned automobiles and community residents participating in the clean-up in different ways.

Council member Quetcy Lozada added pictures of crews cleaning up neighborhoods in her district have inspired people to clean up outside their own homes.

The city also has plans to put more sidewalk trash cans and do greening along commercial corridors and vacant lots. Cleaning up short dumping of debris while also catching perpetrators is a priority for the Parker administration, which will add an additional clean-up crew and more video cameras in perpetual hotspots where dumping is frequent.

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