‘If You Don't Want to Move Your Car, Tough': Street Cleaning Coming to Every Philly Neighborhood

Will the 'Filthadelphia' moniker soon be a thing of the past for the City of Brotherly Love? Maybe so if the mayor's cleanup plan comes through

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Street cleaning is coming to every neighborhood in Philadelphia within the next three years. And residents need to be prepared to move their cars to make it happen.

Mayor Jim Kenney made the announcement that his administration would expand its litter control pilot program citywide by 2023 during the inaugural address for his second term on Tuesday.

Litter and illegal dumping is pervasive in the nation's sixth most-populous city. Despite citywide cleanup events, hard work by block captains and a neighborhood buying its own dump truck, the nickname 'Filthadelphia' still holds true.

While campaigning for his first term as mayor in 2015, Kenney vowed to tackle the trash with street sweeping. He created a Zero Waste and Litter cabinet during his first year in office and set a goal to be litter-free and 90% waste free by 2035.

It took three years for the Streets Department to launch a small pilot program using leaf blowers to sweep trash from under cars to collection trucks. That program, which ended in December, targeted litter-prone sections in six neighborhoods: West Philadelphia, Strawberry Mansion, Southwest Philadelphia, Logan and South Philadelphia. A final report has yet to be issued on the pilot.

Kenney provided scant details on Tuesday about the street sweeping program, but touched on one major point: Residents will have to move their cars.

"It'll be in every neighborhood and you're going to have to move you car. If you don't want to move your car, tough," Kenney said after his address.

Other densely populated cities like New York require residents move parked cars for street sweeping.

Litter strewn on a Philadelphia sidewalkVince Lattanzio
Litter is strewn in the street and on the sidewalk of S. 16th Street in Philadelphia.

In addition to the sweeping program, Kenney's administration plans to clean up commercial corridors and go after businesses that dump debris and trash in empty lots.

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