PHILADELPHIA – Today, the Department of Commerce hosted its second annual Taking Care of Business (TCB) Clean Corridors Pep Rally to celebrate the impressive achievements and litter reduction efforts of 200 TCB Cleaning Ambassadors on 85 commercial corridors citywide. Scheduled to coincide with Earth Month, the TCB Pep Rally recognized how TCB Cleaning Ambassadors help prevent litter from entering our waterways, support air quality in neighborhood commercial corridors, and enhance economic revitalization efforts by supporting vibrant shopping areas. During the TCB Pep Rally, Mayor Kenney highlighted the benefits of TCB for shoppers, residents and businesses. City Council Members announced awards to the cleaning crews who enhance litter reduction within their districts. The event also included partner tables offering valuable resources for TCB crews, testimonies from corridor merchants, and cleaning ambassadors whose lives have been positively impacted by the Philadelphia TCB Clean Corridors Program. Program statistics and accomplishments are listed later in this release.
TCB currently funds 34 community-serving nonprofits and four minority-owned cleaning companies that hire local Philadelphians for meaningful employment opportunities in commercial areas. TCB cleaning is carried out by crews of uniformed Cleaning Ambassadors deployed along scheduled cleaning routes to remove litter and address trash dumping.
“Our neighborhood commercial corridors are essential drivers of economic growth and economic opportunity for all, which is a top priority for my Administration. The many diverse, small businesses along commercial corridors are the backbone of communities all across our city. They provide jobs as well as goods and services for our residents,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “The TCB Clean Corridors Program greatly enhances the quality of life within neighborhood commercial corridors. TCB Ambassadors are all on front lines, doing more than sweeping up litter by interacting with businesses and residents who see them out on a regular schedule. Cleaner streets support healthier lives, and more economic opportunities for all.”
“The Philadelphia Taking Care of Business (TCB) Clean Corridors Program is a critical investment in litter reduction efforts across 85 neighborhood commercial corridors citywide and meaningful employment opportunities for local residents who live in communities served by this program,” said Commerce Director Anne Nadol. “TCB also supports the livelihoods of cleaning crews with workforce development training and provides opportunities for minority-owned cleaning companies to increase their capacity. The visible and impactful presence of these frontline workers demonstrates the City’s commitment to the quality of life within neighborhood commercial areas. The Philadelphia Taking Care of Business (TCB) Clean Corridors Pep Rally is a vibrant and cheerful reminder that with our partnerships across the city, we are well-positioned to continue supporting the wellbeing of residents, clean streets maintenance, and the advancement of a thriving economy for all.”
The TCB award certificates were signed by the Mayor and Commerce Director. City Council Members announced the awards at the TCB Pep Rally to the cleaning crews who enhance litter reduction within their districts. The list of participating organizations and their cleaning crews is available online here. The TCB Pep Rally celebrated program accomplishments, including:
66 percent of TCB corridors have a Litter Index Score between 1 and 2. This is up from 62 percent in 2021, meaning that more corridors are cleaner.
152,760 bags of trash were removed from TCB corridors by TCB crews. This equals 12,740 dumpsters collected citywide. That’s 17,498 fewer bags of trash collected than in 2021. This reduction in trash collected indicates that keeping commercial corridors clean prevents litter from accumulating in the first place.
Impact on Neighborhood Businesses
95 percent of business owners who were surveyed in TCB cleaning areas believe TCB has been effective.
91 percent of shoppers say that they visit commercial corridors more if kept clean.
TCB cleaning ambassadors attain credentials that are highly valued by employers across many industries, which can benefit them when searching for future employment opportunities, such as enrolling in workplace safety, mental health and career readiness programs.
67 Cleaning Ambassadors completed a Mental Health First Aid Training.
TCB Program Managers attended TCB Best Practices Sessions focusing on human resources, team-building and trauma-informed management practices.
160 Cleaning Ambassadors to date have completed an online CareerSafe OSHA-10 certification with 34 earning their certificate in 2022.
200 TCB Cleaning Ambassadors are employed in the program, each earning the minimum program wage of $15 an hour or more.
More than half of TCB Cleaning Ambassadors are estimated to be returning citizens based on a survey of TCB’s three largest provider organizations.
Impact on Cleaning Companies
TCB enabled four Philadelphia-based, for-profit, minority-owned cleaning companies to grow their businesses, with City contracts among the four companies increasing from $221,000 in 2020 to $1.74 million in 2021.
“The Streets Department supports the Philadelphia Taking Care of Business (TCB) Clean Corridors Program by providing dedicated crews who help with trash bag removal and educate businesses and residents about their responsibilities to also keep sidewalks clean,” said Denis Murphy, Deputy Commerce Director, Office of Corridor Improvement and Business Services. “Clean streets help to protect our waterways by preventing litter from entering our sewer outfalls, and reducing stormwater pollution. We are so proud of TCB crews vital efforts to maintain vibrant commercial areas while supporting the wellbeing of our surrounding environments. The diligent efforts of TCB crews is modeling a vital example of what it looks like to take care of our neighborhoods, commercial corridors and each other. We are pleased to celebrate their impressive achievements at the second annual TCB Pep Rally. The Department of Commerce is honored to manage this great program and serve our city.”
Learn more about the City’s Green City, Clean Waters Plan, also supported by the litter reduction efforts of PHL Taking Care of Business Clean Corridors Program.
“TCB Cleaning Ambassadors and organizations have a consistent presence in commercial corridors citywide, including at Broad and Erie, on North 5th Street, on Woodland Avenue, on 52nd Street, in West Oak Lane, Germantown and Chelten, on Rising Sun and more,” said Yvonne Boye, Deputy Commerce Director, Office of Neighborhood Economic Development. “As we raise our cheers at the TCB Pep Rally, we celebrate cleaning crews who are local champions of our environment and economy within commercial corridors citywide. We are also grateful for the tremendous efforts of our partner organizations to support residents and businesses in the neighborhood commercial areas that they serve. As a result, commercial areas are cleaner, more attractive places for businesses and for shoppers.”
“We are honored to be partners with TCB and the Department of Commerce and humbled to receive additional funding to continue cleaning the Broad, Germantown and Erie commercial corridor,” said Amelia Price, Corridor Manager for Called to Serve Community Development Corporation. “Our community has faced many challenges with trash. Businesses and neighbors in the community constantly express their appreciation for our team’s work and it is inspiring to hear them respond to our work. They genuinely care for this community and want to work and live in a clean and healthy environment.”
“I want to thank the Taking Care of Business (TCB) Program for such a beautiful event celebrating the street cleaners in the City of Philadelphia who do this important work daily with love and passion for their communities. I am a Dominican Immigrant and I feel very happy because through Esperanza, I have been able to learn more about the Philadelphia Latino community in Hunting Park. I live in this community with my family, and I am proud of the efforts we make since 5 a.m. in the morning to collect garbage, take care of the environment and create relationships with the people in the streets,” said TCB Cleaning Ambassador, Darlin Llanos, Nueva Esperanza. “It is an amazing satisfaction I feel from the support, opportunity and the stability that the TCB program offers. Ever since I was a child, I never like seeing trash on the streets. That is why with every information we receive from the TCB program, it helps us grow together with the support of Esperanza. Nobody said it would be easy. But at 33 years old, and with a small family, I try to turn my work that may seem ordinary into extraordinary. So I invite all of you to do your part, take on this philosophy and clean our streets in Philadelphia a little bit more. Thank you so much for the opportunity to belong in the TCB program.”
Images from 2023 TCB Pep Rally for press can be downloaded from an online album here.
More information about the program is available online.