Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Finally, Public Recycling!

Philadelphia's Streets Department will be installing 500 "Big-Belly" solar-powered trash receptacles around Center City, from South Street to Spring Garden, and down Broad Street to Washington Avenue. The new receptacles are funded by a DEP grant, and will replace all of the existing wire mesh trash cans.

The biggest advantage for the City is that these new receptacles only need to be emptied twice a week (as opposed to the once or twice a day needed for the standard public trash cans). The compacting mechanism that makes them so efficient is completely solar-powered. The City has been testing out a few of these around town (the one's I've seen are at 7th & Chestnut and 15th & Walnut).

Additionally, many of these receptacles will be accompanied by public recycling bins (!). I've heard plenty of Philadelphians bemoan the fact that we don't have public recycling on our streets. Well, we will soon. Recycling was a big priority item for Mayor Nutter as he campaigned; between introducing weekly single-stream recycling and this effort to put recycling bins on public streets, his administration is truly tackling it.

So, let's give credit where it's due: Good job Mayor Nutter! Good job Streets Department!


Andy said...

Sure, these are nice. But once again it's the city focusing on a flashy initiative targeting the city's high-profile areas rather than addressing parity in public trash collection in every neighborhood.

But hey, 500 big-bellies is better than no big-bellies. But my neighborhood's a trash dump.

Bhuvan Chand said...

Nice Article. Keep it up. But I think this is copy of your topic recycling process

C.Scott said...

Given that service provisions are the central role of any city's mandate, this topic is particularly compelling from the viewpoint of understanding the disparate quality of life levels throughout the city and in evaluating the city's strategic response in that regard.

Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and/or Residential Improvement Districts (RIDs) are a couple of models that exist in several areas of Philadelphia to address the objective of supplementing (and in some cases supplanting) city services. And we know from empirical evidence that these models can work well in established and/or high wealth areas, like Center City.

But, if on the one hand BIDs function well in high profile areas, they also have the unintended consequence of exacerbating inequality in other (less high profile) areas. It is here an opportunity exists to craft a new supplemental service model that leverages the strengths of BIDs but revamps the model in a way that allows for a more effective response to the unique conditions of those less high-profile areas.

Gerald Frug once said "the critical choice is whether we want public participation in the delivery of public services." BID/RID models are mechanisms for enlisting that participation. And while in their current form the models are not without faults, they hold the promise of steering us toward the ideal of the equitable city...the city that elevates the quality of life for all citizens, particularly its most modest.