Clothing and electronics make up approximately 10 percent of Philadelphia’s waste stream, piling up in landfills. Through SmartCityPHL’s Pitch & Pilot program, Philadelphians will soon be able to dispose of these items responsibly from the convenience of their homes. 

Through a partnership with Retrievr, residents can schedule doorstep pickup of unwanted clothing and electronics for recycling. Retrievr is the first winner of the first Pitch & Pilot challenge, which asked for ideas to reduce waste in Philadelphia.  

SmartCityPHL: Directing technology toward City goals

The SmartCityPHL initiative focuses on collaborating across City government departments and programs to make Philadelphia an even better place to live. Pitch & Pilot specifically aimed to work with the private sector to help create solutions that would solve existing issues within Philadelphia.  

More than two dozen firms responded to the first Pitch & Pilot challenge: Reduce waste and increase waste diversion away from landfills.  

Retrievr’s proposal was one of the first that the City selected to support with a pilot project. Retrievr’s proposal helps directly reduce the amount of waste sent to the landfill, helping the City save money and keeping dangerous chemicals out of the ground and air. Accessibility and technical capacity also played key roles in this decision—Retrievr’s service covers the entire city and can be booked over the phone, online, or via text. 

How to use Retrievr’s service

Retrievr offers an on-demand doorstep collection for clothing and electronics. The company will pick up clothing and small electronics for free. While Retrievr charges a small fee for large electronics like TVs, microwaves, and air conditioners, residents are still able to recycle these items for free at sanitation convenience centers.  

Residents can start scheduling pickups on Thursday, May 28. Retrievr will then begin collections on Monday, June 8.  

Philadelphians can schedule a pickup by: 

  • Visiting  
  • Texting PICKUP to 757-70-FETCH (757-703-3824) 
  • Calling 757-70-FETCH (757-703-3824) 

During the pilot period, Retrievr will update its platform to include Philadelphia, assess the collection of additional materials, and work with City partners to evaluate the impact of its service on waste diversion.