Substance use doesn’t occur in a vacuum — it also affects the neighborhoods in which the public sale and use of drugs occur. To address these issues, our Environmental Services team manages public restroom services, several public needle drop boxes, and programs that pick up discarded syringes and clean human waste.
Project Reach is a harm reduction-focused sanitation program that specializes in environmental cleanups in communities affected by substance use. It also manages a “same-day-pay” program to promote clean streets and provide low-barrier employment opportunities for people in the Kensington community.
Our environmental specialists focus on the removal of discarded syringes and other drug-related litter, as well as general trash. They also distribute naloxone (Narcan) and fentanyl test strips, harm reduction educational materials, and help make referrals to services. In 2021, Project Reach filled 7,600 bags of trash.
Block-to-Block is a city-wide program that compensates field navigators $50 a day through a same-day-pay work initiative. Each navigator is a community member that has committed to a 12-day, 4-5 hour work schedule, ensuring more consistent employment.
B2B volunteers are educated on Narcan and fentanyl test strips (FTS) and trained to reverse overdoses, with the goal of engaging the community in substance use awareness and harm reduction. Volunteers also participate in making and distributing Narcan and FTS kits.
B2B staff assist volunteers by providing snacks and personal hygiene kits (if needed), obtaining an ID or driver’s license, applying for Social Security cards, transport to a crisis center for detox, connecting with in/outpatient treatment, scheduling medical appointments, and connecting with other resources.
To promote a clean and safe community, we have installed several freestanding needle drop-boxes in Kensington and adjacent neighborhoods. These boxes are conveniently placed near SEPTA stations and available 24/7 for anyone to safely dispose of needles. In 2021, Project Reach collected over 55,000 needles.
Philadelphians do not have adequate access to public restrooms. This has historically contributed to public health crises, including the 2019 Hepatitis A outbreak, and a general burden on the public. Some Center City businesses allow restroom use without purchases; however, these requests are subjected to stigma and profiling, in addition to the sometimes inconvenient window of business hours. This has resulted in the accumulation of feces on city streets, specifically in Kensington. Our public restroom specialists address biohazard concerns related to human waste and work to expand access to public restrooms. To combat this waste burden, our team is working to design, install, and maintain innovative and permanent bathrooms around the city. In the interim, several temporary structures have been erected:
Prevention Point Philadelphia
2913 Kensington Ave. (on the corner of Monmouth Street)
Monday–Friday 8 a.m.–4 p.m.
Our public restroom specialists focus on maintaining these facilities, removing biohazards, and improving access to public restrooms. They also engage with community members, distribute harm-reduction supplies, and help connect individuals to services.
To report needles / litter / dumping, call 311.
To promote a clean and safe community, we have installed several freestanding needle drop boxes in Kensington and adjacent neighborhoods. These boxes are conveniently placed near SEPTA stations and available 24/7 for anyone to safely dispose of their needles.
Upon request, the program also installs smaller, wall-mounted needle drop boxes outside of local organizations. To learn how to install a needle box in your community, please contact Cristina Laboy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-668-5107.
Contact Cristina Laboy at email@example.com or 215-668-5107.
The Philadelphia Department of Sanitation operates six sanitation convenience centers where residents can dispose of trash and recyclables that are not able to be collected during regular trash pick-ups. Learn more about center locations and accepted materials.