As I study Philadelphia’s trash – litter problem I have been struck by how the lower income areas have a much greater incidence of illegal dumping and trash than the more affluent areas. To test the validity of this impression, I have mapped the Mean Household Income by census tract in District 8 and the 2013 litter code violations.
This map shows that areas with lower household incomes have a much greater incidence of code violation notices for premise and sidewalk litter.
My trash photo surveys also show a much greater incidence of illegal trash dumping in lower income areas.
What does this mean? I believe that trash – illegal dumping – litter is an environmental justice issue and that all Philadelphia residents are entitled to clean, trash free streets, sidewalks and Parks.