Keep Philadelphia Beautiful serves on the Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet, which was created in December 2016 by Mayor Kenney.
Executive Director of Keep Philadelphia Beautiful Michelle Feldman took to the South of South Neighborhood Association meeting Wednesday night to provide helpful tips for organizing block cleanups around your neighborhood. Keep Philadelphia Beautiful is a chapter of Keep America Beautiful, a nonprofit that “inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment.”
Among Feldman’s tips were to plan a cleanup around an already on-going event like Philadelphia’s annual Spring Cleanup every April or on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which is a day many seek to perform a “day of service” to make a positive impact on their local community.
Feldman said “thousands and thousands of people throughout the city volunteer” at the Philly Spring Cleanup every year.
Feldman said any “date that’s coming up that people know about that has them energized that you can plan around” could work. Another good example, she said, might be the city’s Love Your Park event, which happens every May and every November. This year’s Love Your Park Week is currently happening, from May 12 to the 20. The event’s fall service day will be Nov. 10.
Feldman also suggested using various media to reach out to find members. She said social media, making fliers and reaching out to local media outlets, such as hyper-local papers such as South Philly Review, all work very well. (If you have a cleanup you’re looking to get the word out about, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org).
When the day of the cleanup comes, it’s important to have right supplies, said Feldman. Feldman suggested making sure you have enough brooms, brushes and bags to do the job. Often, there are ways to get these supplies through the city. If you’re a registered block captain, you can get these supplies through the Philadelphia More Beautiful Committee (you can get more information at philadelphiastreets.com/pmbc). If you’re not a registered block captain, you can still get supplies through the city’s Community Life Improvement Program. For more information about gettings supplies through CLIP, visit phila.gov/CLIP.
“I’ve always been surprised at how easy they are to work with — also the amount of bags that they’ll give you,” Feldman said of CLIP. “At one point, I requested 200 bags or something and I thought my computer screen was going to laugh at me, and it was like ‘yep, here’s 200 bags for you.’”
Another suggestion Feldman had was to try to make the cleanup fun with music and games. She said other cleanups have held competitions to see who can find the “weirdest” or “oldest” piece of trash, if it has a date on it.
Keep Philadelphia Beautiful serves on the Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet, which was created in December 2016 by Mayor Kenney. The cabinet is led by Nic Esposito. For more information about Keep Philadelphia Beautiful, visit keepphiladelphiabeautiful.com. For more information about the Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet, visit philadelphiastreets.com/zero-starts-with-one.