Logan Triangle, like many areas in Philadelphia, suffers from excessive illegal dumping.
At the Logan Civic Association meeting on May 14th, local residents complained about this long term problem and asked for action.
Based on District 8 Trash Task Force meetings, personal investigations and Philadelphia’s Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet information, I have assembled the attached Logan Triangle Illegal Dumping Action Plan to help focus our efforts to tackling the Logan Triangle and wider dumping crisis.
Key points from this draft plan:
- Six Illegal Dumping Control Actions are available to communities and the City
- Encourage community Philly311 reporting
- Engage Area Block Captains (8 in Logan Triangle vicinity)
- Engage SWEEP officers to assess Logan Triangle situation & make recommendations
- Illegal Dumping, Truck Parking Signs
- Enhanced Barriers (specific recommendations for Logan Triangle provided)
- Surveillance Cameras ( 4 proposed for Logan Triangle)
- Logan Triangle has many specific dumping hot spots. 8 action areas have been identified to begin coordinated community – City efforts. Additional action areas will be added as we progress
- Specific action plans have been developed for each of the initial 8 action areas.
- There are 8 Block Captains in the Triangle vicinity. They could provide valuable insight and leadership to our efforts if the Streets Department can facilitate communication between these Block Captains and the District 8 Trash Task Force.
- SWEEP officers have extensive experience assessing trash sources and corrective actions which can help the community efforts. Can the Streets Department facilitate communication between SWEEP officers and the District 8 Trash Task Force?
- Streets placed dozens of concrete barriers around Logan Triangle to limit access to the open land. This report identifies several locations where dumpers are able to bypass the barriers to dump. Specific recommendations are included to move, realign and/or remove barriers by action area.
- Philly311 has accepted multi-block illegal dumping requests and currently is processing requests for 3 of the 8 action areas in Logan Triangle.
- 4 surveillance camera locations are recommended. Can Streets and Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority expedite camera deployment to these 4 Logan triangle locations?
Logan Civic Association meeting on May 14, 2018 will discuss Illegal Dumping in Logan Triangle.
I conducted a photo trash survey of Logan Triangle on May 8th. There are dozens of illegal dump sites in City streets and sidewalks as well as on Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority (PRA) property. Here’s a summary of the survey:
Philadelphia has taken a major step forward with the recent release of the interactive 2017 Litter Index map (link) and supporting data (link).
In my January, 2017 post, I compared Philadelphia’s earlier litter index to the then recently released LA Street Litter Index. LA had made significant improvements in their index. I am thrilled to report that one year later, Philadelphia has a state-of-the-art litter index that provides litter status data for every street segment in the City.
The new index is based on city block surveys where surveyors assessed the litter situation on a 4 point scale:
- Little to no litter
- Litter, in the amount that can be picked up by one person
- Litter, in the amount that would need a team to clean up
- Litter, requires a large clean effort and/or heavy machinery to remove
Surveyor data included date(s) of survey, litter count for the block as well as a link to field photograph(s).
Users can download the City’s detailed litter survey data at 3 levels of detail:
- Detailed Survey Points – detailed data for each survey point
- Street Segments
- Ward Divisions, aka voting precints
The data is available in CSV files, shapefiles and GeoJSOn files. The best place to start is to look at the Metadata for the point, line and polygon data.
I have started analyzing the 2017 Litter Index Data for Council District 8. These 2 maps show the point survey data and the block – street segment data for Council District 8.
Congratulations to the City’s Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet for implementing this comprehensive litter measurement system. This data will help community groups, individuals, litter activists and City Departments to focus attention on both city-wide and neighborhood priorities and measure progress as we work together to solve the City’s chronic street trash problem.
Philadelphia has 6 Sanitation Convenience Centers (SCC) that provide residents safe, free, reliable disposal sites for excess trash and special items like tires and TVs,electronics.
These Centers are a critical resource for the City’s Zero Waste and Litter efforts, however, there are two residential access issues that must be addressed to ensure their potential effectiveness:
- Approximately 33% of Philadelphia Housing Units do not own or lease a vehicle, presenting a serious challenge to residents with excess trash. How do they get their excess trash to an SCC?This map shows the of % households without a vehicle by Census Tract. More than 50% of households do not have a vehicle in 71 census tracts.
Residents how do not have access to a vehicle so that they can not use the City’s Convenience Centers without borrowing or renting a vehicle.
We may need some type of trash taxi service for those households without access to a vehicle.
- For those households with a vehicle, travel times from residents’ home to an SCC and back can present a significant time challenge. The following map shows the estimated one-way travel times areas for 5, 10 and 15 minutes trips.I think that a 15-minute one-way travel time (30 minutes round trip) is the upper limit for residents to transport excess trash to a SCC on a regular basis.
Residents access to an SCC is critical for reducing illegal dumping. The City will need to improve access to the SCCs for households without vehicles and those outside the 15-minute travel time zones
My most recent report on Philadelphia Street Trash includes this hot spot analysis of Philly311 Illegal Dumping Service Requests. You can download the report here.
Illegal dumping is a growing problem in Philadelphia (link)! We need to understand types – locations – frequency of dumping to stop it. We have the data, we need better data analysis to effectively manage our trash problem.
Here are 3 charts that demonstrate how we can diagnose our trash dumping problem using January, 2017 311 illegal dumping service requests where citizens submitted photos.
Illegal Dumping Trash Types
Illegal Dumping Locations
Illegal Dumping Trash Events
Here’s what we can learn by studying the January, 2017 illegal dumping service requests.
- Residential trash (36%) was the most common type of dumping request, followed by tires and construction debris (12% each), mattresses (10%), mix of trash types (9%) and TVs (7%).
- 66% of illegal dumping requests occurred on sidewalks, followed by 15% on/near vacant lots – buildings.
- 58% of dumping requests occurred at single event sites, 27% at multiple event sites ad 5% at chronic dumping sites.
- Big Belly’s accounted for 5% of Philadelphia illegal dumping service request sites.
- Loose litter accumulation accounted for 5% of Philadelphia’s 311 illegal dumping service requests.