PHILADELPHIA — The City’s Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet (Cabinet) today released a report on its progress in meeting the goals outlined in the Zero Waste and Litter Action Plan.

Since its launch in August 2017, the Cabinet has accomplished every initiative set forth in the original Zero Waste road map. This includes conducting two years of citywide litter indexing and completing 71 percent of the initial litter enforcement and cleaner public spaces recommendations. 16 percent of these recommendations remain in progress, with 13 percent outstanding.

“Governments, businesses, and engaged residents across the world are mobilizing to create cleaner, less wasteful cities,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “We can no longer go down the path of making, taking, and then trashing. Creating a thriving, lower-waste economy is a defining challenge for societies in the 21st century, and Philadelphia is proud to be at the forefront of developing solutions.”

“I am extremely proud of all the departments, agencies, private-sector, and community stakeholders that have helped us accomplish our initial Zero Waste goals and complete over 90 percent of our litter recommendations,” said Managing Director Brian Abernathy. “We still have much more work to do to accomplish a less littered and Zero Waste City, but the Cabinet has laid a strong foundation to achieve these goals moving forward.”

Highlights of the two-year Zero Waste and Litter progress report include:

  • Releasing an RFP to establish an urban composting facility in Philadelphia to support residential and commercial composting. The site will serve as a demonstration site for the first urban composting permit in the Commonwealth, which would allow for additional small-scale composting sites citywide, spurring job creation.
  • Through increased enforcement and execution of a communications campaign, the Cabinet helped to reduce the amount of heavy illegal dumping cleaned up by City departments from 11,525 tons in FY16 to 6,808 tons in FY19.
  • Supporting a ban on plastic bags to reduce the amount of single-use plastics and prevent litter on Philadelphia’s streets, vacant lots, waterways, and public spaces.
  • Working with Parks & Recreation and the Office of Sustainability to develop a Community Composting Network to establish community-scale composting systems across the city that residents can learn how to use.
  • As part of its work with C40, Philadelphia was chosen as one of three global cities selected to organize a local coalition of community stakeholders to implement a ‘Thriving Cities Roadmap’ of consumption-reducing actions.

To read the full two-year progress report, click here.

About the Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet
Philadelphia’s Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet is an interdepartmental effort to continually reduce the amount of waste entering landfills or conventional incinerators, combat litter, and enhance the cleanliness of streets and public spaces. Composed of major City departments and agencies, City Council representatives, community stakeholders, and chaired by the Managing Director’s Office, the Cabinet works across five target areas to make Philadelphia a less littered, Zero Waste city.z