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Community Cans Program

Supporting community responsibility for clean business districts and commercial areas.


The Community Cans Program aims to reduce litter in Philadelphia neighborhoods. To do this, the City of Philadelphia partners with community organizations and businesses to place wire mesh litter baskets in designated locations along commercial corridors.

Sponsors sign a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Streets to participate in this program. Sponsor organizations can include any incorporated and insured group, including:

  • Community organizations.
  • Community development corporations.
  • Business improvement districts.


1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
7th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102


To place trash baskets in the public right-of-way through the Community Cans Program, sponsors must:

  • Buy a wire mesh litter basket or equivalent metal container. The container must:
    • Be at least 24 gallons but not larger than 32 gallons.
    • Have a metal lid with an opening to deposit trash.
  • Place the basket(s) at a location or locations specified by the sponsor and approved by the Department of Streets.
  • Adorn the metal lid of all baskets with some type of branding and design to mark participation in the Community Cans Program.
  • Place the basket in the right-of-way, and if permanently secured to the sidewalk, receive approval from the Department of Streets.
  • Secure the litter basket from theft (by chaining, cabling, etc.).
    • If chained to public infrastructure, a key must be accessible during business hours.
    • After business hours, the basket may either be moved inside or secured with a cable or thin metal chain that can be cut by the Department of Streets or other utility agency if necessary to get access to public infrastructure.
  • Maintain the baskets by:
    • Providing plastic liners (bags).
    • Changing the plastic liner on each collection day or when filled.
    • Removing bags and storing them out of pedestrian sight until the specified City collection day.
    • Placing bags at the curbside for City collection on the scheduled trash collection day or bringing them to the closest sanitation convenience center.


Your benefits for participating in the Community Cans Program include:

  • A formalized, City-sanctioned partnership through which to place and maintain wire litter baskets in the public right-of-way.
  • Guidance on how to strategically place Community Cans baskets in your neighborhood. This advice will help you reduce litter and illegal dumping. It may be based on:
    • Data from the Litter Index.
    • Maps of current trash can locations.
    • Street-level analysis of these datasets.
  • A placard that allows you to dispose of trash collected in Community Cans baskets at City sanitation convenience centers.
  • Help developing branding and design for Community Cans baskets.
  • Depending on availability:
    • The Department of Streets may be able to provide wire baskets.
    • The Commerce Department may be able to provide funding to participating organizations for the program.

Join the program

Fill out our form to provide information about your organization and express your interest in sponsoring Community Cans.