Kenney and Bailey agree: Let’s bring regular street-cleaning efforts back

 Mayoral candidates Jim Kenney and Melissa Murray Bailey, shown here outside a West Oak Lane polling place on primary day, agree that city streets should be cleaned up regularly. (Brian Hickey/WHYY)

Mayoral candidates Jim Kenney and Melissa Murray Bailey, shown here outside a West Oak Lane polling place on primary day, agree that city streets should be cleaned up regularly. (Brian Hickey/WHYY)

In a recent interview with The Next Mayor, Democratic mayoral nominee Jim Kenney said that he’d like to revive the city’s dormant street-cleaning program in areas where residents want it.

Kenney’s campaign noted that they were in the process of exploring how that could be accomplished; the Street Department estimated the cost of twice monthly street cleaning at $18 million in startup money with $3.5 million in annual operating costs.

“We’d have to have more neighborhood input and have people buy into and maybe just clean the streets where people are willing to move their cars,” he said.

If neighbors wanted the service, they’d get it. If not, their neighborhood would stay dirty.

“It’s sad that we have to spend resources cleaning up after people. We could be putting that money into schools and other services. It is what it is, but we still have a responsibility to make the city clean,” said Kenney.

You can read more about Kenney’s thoughts on the matter via this link.

On Monday afternoon, NinetyNine reached out to Melissa Murray Bailey, Kenney’s Republican opponent to gauge her thoughts on the matter. Here’s what she had to say:

Cleaning-up Philly is a top priority.

First, we do a mass clean-up to hit the reset button. When the street is clean, people are less likely to drop their trash on the ground. Additionally, the lone piece of trash looks out of place and people are much more compelled to pick it up.

It is an activity my daughter and I do each day as we walk the four blocks to school. There also needs to be somewhere to put the trash and we need to stay on top of trash collection.

Here’s how we do it:

1. Make it easy for people to throw out their trash.

Deploy Big Belly trash cans on all bus routes and commercial areas throughout the city.

2. Don’t let it get out of hand again.

Set up a bi-weekly street-cleaning program for the entire city. The Water Department currently spends money and resources to catch trash before it enters our stormwater system. If we solve the root cause of the problem — trash in the streets — we spend less in the long run and get the benefit of a cleaner city.

3. Eliminate sources of litter.

Restaurants and businesses will be prohibited from dropping paper menus and advertising anywhere outside

4. Community accountability.

We will enforce littering laws. Additionally, residents will be encouraged to play a role in helping to keep the city clean by contacting 311 or making an online complaint to hold trash men accountable for reoccurring collection problems and to let the streets department know when corner trash cans are full and need to be emptied.

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