Tag Archives: Litter GIS

Philadelphia Street Trash – Working Paper

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.

LA Cleanliness Index More Effective Than Philadelphia’s Litter Index

Philadelphia has been using a litter index to assess street trash conditions since 2007 (link). Here is the most recent litter index, downloaded from OpenDataPhilly.  The actual dates for the litter survey data is not provided.

phl_litter_index_fall_2016

Philadelphia’s Litter Index provides a 1-4 composite score for 111 trash collection day area in the City. The City’s meta data file states:

The Litter Index is used to compare the relative cleanliness of different areas of the city of Philadelphia. he relative cleanliness of different areas of the city of Philadelphia.

Originally created in 2007, the Litter Index is used to compare the relative cleanliness of different areas of the city. The Litter Index is scored on a 1-4 scale with 1 being minimal litter and 4 being extremely littered.

The City’s Litter Index has a number of shortcomings which limit its usefulness as a City trash hot spot identification and management tool.

  • Data collection is based on relatively large areas, with an average of 2.2 square miles. Seriously trash street segments are masked when the data is averaged over such a large area.
  • Street Litter Index Values for specific areas vary widely from survey to survey, raising concerns about the reliability of the underlying methodology (link).
  • There is no relationship between 311 Illegal Dumping Service Requests and Street Litter Index.

phl_litter_index_311_il_dmp_sr

Los Angeles has developed a Street Cleanliness Index (link) which provides detailed street segment by segment data not available in Philadelphia’s index.

Here is a short video describing how LA used a dashcam, smartphone camera and ArcGIS to score each street segment in LA.

LA  uses assigns a  1 to 3 cleanliness score for Loose Litter, Illegal Dumping, Weeds and Bulky Items as well as a composite score.  Here is an example of the LA Cleanliness Score Map , showing segments with Clean, Somewhat Clean and Not Clean scores.

la_map_snippet

With the LA method, the Not Clean (red) segments standout.  Philadelphia needs to adopt a detailed street litter index score system like LA so that we can pinpoint the badly trash street segments and begin getting our trash problems under control.

Philadelphia’s 311 Data Shows That Philadelphians Hate Street Trash

Slide show on how we can use Philadelphia’s OpenDataPhilly 311 data to understand and solve our street trash problem.

PHL City Council – Environment Committee Testimony

Philadelphia’s City council Environment committee held a hearing on Wednesday, March 18, 2015.  The hearing, chaired by Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, had panels on Safety,  Water, Air and trash Litter.

I had the privilege to testify on trash – litter.  Here is pdf file on my testimony.
City_Council_hearing_3_18_16_cover

 

Philadelphia Litter Code Violation Notices by Council District

There were 33,213 litter code violation notices issued in 2013. Here’s a map that shows the number of litter code violations by the 10 City Council Districts.

Litter_CVN_2013_by_Council_

How to Map Phila Neighborhood Litter Code Violation Notices

I previously wrote about the Germantown 2013 litter code violation map. In this post, I want to provide a short how-to  for this E Mt Airy 2013 Litter Code Violation Map so that others can produce similar maps for their neighborhoods.

EMA_2013_CVN_litter

GIS Requirements

I started using ESRI’s ArcMap after working with ESRI’s free ArcGIS Desktop Explorer for about a year. I love both products, with ArcMap providing the critical geoprocessing tools I needed to drill down into Philadelphia’s litter problem.

You’ll need a full GIS tool to be able to analyze Philadelphia litter data the way I have.

Litter Data Data Requirements

You need 3 data shapefiles to reproduce the E Mt Airy Litter code Violation map for your neighborhood.  Here are the files with links tht you need:

  1. City Code Violation Notice Data Shapefile
  2. City Neighborhood Boundaries Shapefile
  3. City Street Centerlines Shapefile

Working with Code Violation Notice (CVN) Shapefile

The City’s CVN shapefile is pretty good size for my desktop PC at 450 thousand records. Once you load the CVN shapefile, I suggest that you open the CVN attribute table and select just 2013 CVNs for these litter codes:

  • 10702    –  Littering in Public
  • 10703    –   Litter in Receptacle
  • 10705    –   Litter swpt to gutter
  • 107032 –  Misuse of City Lit Bask
  • 107041 – Sidewalk not litter free
  • 107042 – Recpl not supplied
  • 107141 – Premises not litter free
  • 107142 – Recp not litter free

Once you have selected just the litter CVN for 2013, you save this data set as a new shapefile and use it as a layer for further analysis. Use the data > export option , give the export an understandable name and you now have just City wide 2013 litter CVNs.

Selecting 2013 Litter CVNs in your Neighborhood

You now want to select just those 2013 CVNs in your neighborhood. To do this, activate the neighborhoods layer you downloaded from Open Data Philly  and select your neighborhood. One way you can do this is to click the Selection menu, choose Interactive Selection and  go to desired neighborhood polygon and right click to select the desired polygon.

You now want to make a boundary layer for your desired neighborhood.  Please note that you could add additional neighborhoods if you wanted. Once you have your neighborhood(s) selected, right click your City neighborhoods layer and select Data to export your neighborhood boundary as a separate layer. Be sure to name it with a useful neighborhood id so that you can retrieve it later.

Clip City 2013 Litter CVN Data to your Neighborhood Boundary

You now have a layer with just 2013 litter CVN data for the City and your desired neighborhood layer. To get just the litter CVNs in your neighborhood, you need to clip the City 2013 CVN layer with your neighborhood boundary.

Be sure to save your new clipped data layer with a recognizable name.

Map and Analysis

You now have a layer with just 2013 litter CVNs for your neighborhood. You are ready to produce your neighborhood map. You can use either one of the available basemaps or use the a clipped layer from the City’s centerline layer.

 

Mapping Germantown Litter Code Violations

This post shows how the Philadelphia’s Code Violation Notice data can be used to identify local litter hot spots.  In this example, I have selected the 2013 sidewalk and premise code violation notices within the Germantown Connections  boundary.

Here is  my ARCMap result:

Gtown_cvn_2013_107041_141

 

Each of the 829 red dots represents a sidewalk or premise code violation notice issued in 2013.

I’ve been thinking about how local community development groups and City agencies could use this type of litter GIS data analysis to identify litter hot spots, monitor year-to-year litter changes (hopefully improvements) to effectively and focus attention in problem areas.