Pilot Program to Assist Sanitation Vehicles in Avoiding Operating During Congested Travel Times  

PHILADELPHIA – In an effort to improve mobility and traffic congestion, the City will be conducting a six-month pilot beginning Monday, September 26, to expand residential trash and recycling collection hours within the boundaries of Vine to Bainbridge Streets, from the Delaware to Schuylkill Rivers, to limit the operation of municipal sanitation trucks during the more congested times of the travel.

Residents that live within this boundary and receive City trash and recycling collection services must set out their materials for pickup at their regularly scheduled collection site no earlier than 7pm the night before collection day and no later than 6am the day of collection. Trash and recycling collections will remain collected on the same day.

Expanding sanitation pick up hours aims to:

  • Reduce the number of vehicles on city streets during the hours of highest pedestrian, cyclist, transit, and automobile volumes
  • Improve congestion
  • Bring corresponding benefits to safety, air quality, and government efficiency

The current set out times for residential collection are from 7am to 7pm daily. Because collection does not begin until 7am sanitation vehicles can find themselves contributing to, or stuck in, morning congestion on city streets. A similar effect can occur during the afternoon commuting period. This can result in:

  • Increased congestion on city streets
  • Reduced safety given the increased presence of heavy vehicles during the busiest pedestrian and bicyclist portions of the day
  • Lowered air quality due to increased idling
  • Less efficient delivery of sanitation services due to vehicles being stuck in traffic
  • Greater exposure of workers to traffic hazards and heat impacts during warm weather

The results of the pilot program will be announced in April. Measured success of the pilot will be determined by:

  • Improved collection route times
  • Improved vehicle travel times during morning and afternoon travel periods
  • Minimal increase in related noise complaints

This pilot is being conducted by the Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability (OTIS) and the Streets Department. This effort supports CONNECT, the City of Philadelphia’s Strategic Transportation Plan committed to the goal of improving mobility by providing a reliable and efficient transportation system.

Residents can email otis@phila.gov for additional information and questions. All City services can be reported to 311.