PHILADELPHIA – The Streets Department provides an update on trash and recycling collections, announced Streets Commissioner Carlton Williams. The Streets Department apologizes for the delay in trash and recycling collections and understands the inconvenience this causes residents. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the Department with collection of significantly higher levels of residential trash tonnage due to people remaining in their homes for extended periods of time.  This, combined with staff shortages has delayed collections. Recycling collections across the city is experiencing additional delays as well as crews have been focusing on picking up trash first to help mitigate health risks and attracting rodents. Crews are working diligently to catch up on delayed collections and return to an on-time collection schedule as quickly as possible.

For the week of June 21st, residents should set their materials out on their regular collection day. Residents should expect delays as the Department continues to adjust it operations to accommodate areas of the city where there are staffing shortages. We respectfully ask residents to refrain from placing additional 311 requests for missed trash or recycling collection unless their materials remain curbside at least 48 hours behind regular schedule. The office has been inundated with calls related to trash and recycling collections.

While the Department continues to work through several adjustments related to the pandemic, including increased tonnage and decreased staff, please know that we are doing all they can to get back on schedule.  While we work to increase our staffing levels through our busy season, we also encourage residents to be mindful of what is being placed at the curb via our Curb Your Waste Campaign.

To help mitigate these challenges and return to a normal collection schedule, the Streets Department has redeployed staff internally within the Department to perform trash collections in the interim and promoted most of its temporary workers to full time permanent employment. It is working with the City’s Office of Humans Resources to expedite the hiring process to bring on more employees quickly. It will continue to hire each week until a sufficient staffing level is in place to cover operations on a regular basis is reached.   

To avoid collection delays, residents are strongly encouraged to use  Sanitation Convenience Centers that will remain open seven days a week, from Monday through Sunday between the hours of 6AM to 8PM. Residents can find updates on trash and recycling collections on our social media platforms under the handle @PhilaStreets and on the Nextdoor social site. Additional web postings are made on and the PickUpPHL tab on the website. Announcements are also made via the City’s emergency notification system and press releases issued to the media.

Again, we do apologize for the inconvenience. We thank residents for being vigilant and for their patience as we work to keep the city clean, green and safe.