Sunday, March 3, 2024



Yikes. Northwest Philly is looking a little … dumpy

No dumping. March 17, 2016 Category: MethodShort
If we’re looking at this map right, Northwest Philly has a bit of a dumping issue.

The interactive map, built by retired environmental engineer-turned-litter tracker Kelly O’Day, pinpoints a number of illegal dumping sites in Philly’s Northwest neighborhoods.

Each pin leads to photos of the site in question: Photos of street curbs littered with construction scraps, super mysterious black garbage bags and plastics. O’Day put the map together to inform City Council of how drastic some of the dumping can get, and to influence action.

“These short dumps come from small construction contractors who want to save the trash disposal fee, residential trash in boarding houses and overcrowded homes where people can’t wait until trash pick-up day,” O’Day said.

As for the city’s role, O’Day said the deficiencies start with too few trash receptacles — especially at SEPTA bus stops (“What are you supposed to do with that soda bottle or half-eaten hot dog?”).

Northwest Philly isn’t the only neighborhood with dumping problems, but not every community has a dedicated litter tracker.

O’Day is vocal about trash collection reform, but he has the data to back it up. Check out the slide show he presented to the Delaware River Basin Commission and the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary on how plastic litter is posing a threat to water quality in the Delaware Estuary.

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