How Can We Get a Trash Can For Our Block?

This post--with pictures!--originally ran in the September 2012 Cedar Park Neighbors newsletter.  Didn't receive a newsletter?  Consider becoming a member of Cedar Park Neighbors by clicking here. Many residents, interested in taking on the litter challenge, have asked about how to get a trash can for their block.  There is more to this than meets the eye so we have asked experienced Block Captain, Beth Ellerby, of the 4900 Block of Larchwood Ave. to answer this question and share their block’s wisdom on the matter.

 Block Captain, Beth Ellerby, responds:

The process for obtaining trash baskets for our block was actually quite easy.  We have been an active block association and a member of the Philadelphia More Beautiful Committee since 1995.  We participate in all of their clean-ups and were able to apply through their Adopt a Basket Program.  During our monthly meeting and before applying for the baskets, we discussed how many baskets we wanted and where would be the best placement for these baskets.  We also discussed how the cans would be emptied and the care of the area around the cans.

Our block captain had to write a letter to Philadelphia More Beautiful requesting the necessary paperwork and contract to apply for the baskets.  Once the paperwork was received, it was filled out and the homeowners whose property the cans were being place at, had to sign the contract accepting the responsibility of the can on their property.  They were delivered within two weeks.

We tried several different ways of scheduling the empting of the cans and have come up with monthly rotations as the best solution.  Knowing you have a particular month cuts down on the confusion. We schedule two people each month, one for each can.  We soon realized that we wanted the dome for each can. Without the dome the cans filled up with rain, sleet, snow or ice causing the bags to be very heavy for lifting out as well as messy.  We also bought chains and locks for the cans to secure them to the poles.

We are very pleased with having the cans and have seen a big decrease in the trash that was being discarded by people walk down our block.

Note:  The Philadelphia More Beautiful Committee is a project of the Philadelphia Streets Department.  To learn more, contact PMBC call:  215-685-3981.