PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –– It’s a problem that has vexed every Philadelphia mayor for decades: how to fight litter and keep city streets clean.
Mayor Jim Kenney is taking a crack at it, now, with a comprehensive plan that would also reduce costs associated with collection and landfill space.
The goal is not just zero litter but zero waste by 2035, a tall order, considering, the mayor says residents currently produce a million-and-a-half tons of waste year.
“As a city we spend tens of millions of dollars each year, cleaning up short-dumping and litter. If we are to become a greener, more beautiful city, we must dispose of less trash. We must recycle and reuse more, and we must embrace new approaches to this long-running issue,” said Kenney.
The new approach will be data-driven and rely on behavioral changes, not just more clean-up. Several departments — not just streets– will be responsible, acting as the Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet.
Director Nic Esposito says it’s already developed 31 steps to reduce litter.
“We ran every idea, ordinance, program initiative through this filter of three questions: Can we do it? Will it work? And is it worth it?,” said Esposito.
Expect to hear a lot about using products that don’t create waste and options like composting to reduce what goes in your trash can.