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September 2, 2014, 8:03 am

City plans clean sweep

Annual anti-litter effort set for April 14


The “UnLitter” campaign gets a much-needed boost when the Streets Department kicks off its fifth annual “Spring Cleanup” on Saturday, April 14.

Neighborhoods citywide will participate in the event, hailed as the largest urban cleanup in the nation, with more than 250 projects and 12,000 volunteers. To help the effort, Ace hardware and chemical giant Dow will donate 1,000 gallons of paint — equivalent to a $40,000 donation - to residents during a kick-off press conference and rally on Tuesday at the City of Philadelphia Sanitation Warehouse, 3033 S. 63rd Street.

This effort continues a recent trend by the city to clean up its image as a dirty, trash-strewn metropolis. Last month, the city joined with Philadelphia More Beautiful for its annual block captain rally and to kick off this year’s cleaning season, which officially began on March 31.

The city also implemented a “Recycling Rewards Sweepstakes,” earlier this month, as way to entice residents to take part in the recycling program, which runs through June 30. Through the sweepstakes, entrants will have the opportunity to win one of three main prizes — a $100 Target gift card, a year’s supply of monthly Septa TransPasses and free groceries for a year — and are allowed 30 chances to win.

“This is a win-win opportunity for all Philadelphia residents. By participating, not only can you be rewarded for reducing your trash and increasing your recycling but now those same actions allow you an opportunity to win incredible prizes,” said Streets Commissioner Clarena Tolson. “And there are multiple actions that you can do to win the prizes.”

Residents willing to sign up for the program can register online at, and that alone serves as one of the qualifying for the rewards; the other ways to win are by recommending a friend to sign up online and by completing several online “green” activities.

Recyclebank, a leading proponent of the Green movement with offices in the States and London, is an

“At Recyclebank, we are proud to partner with the City of Philadelphia and the Streets Department to encourage everyone in the community to be more eco-conscious through the Philadelphia Recycling Rewards Sweepstakes,” said Denise Diorio McVeigh, Philadelphia Account Manager at Recyclebank. “The success of Philadelphia’s longstanding partnership with Recyclebank exemplifies the collective impact we can have in our communities by taking small, everyday green actions — all while earning great rewards from your favorite local and national businesses.”

According to the streets department, every ton of waste diverted from landfills can save the city $70, and the rewards program — a sort of “pay for performance” model — and Philadelphia is the only major city to reward its residents for recycling.

Other sponsors are eager to pitch in, either with offering rewards or directly assisting with the cleanup.

“We pride ourselves in making decisions that benefit the communities we serve and our environment,” said Jeffrey Brown, President and CEO of Brown’s Super Stores, Inc. and proprietor of the independently-owned ShopRite that serves as sort of unofficial headquarters for the cleanup effort. “Our partnership with Recyclebank and the Philadelphia Streets Department, over many years, has contributed to our overall environmental sustainability efforts, while also benefiting the customers we serve with extra ShopRite savings.”


Contact staff writer Damon C. Williams at (215) 893-5745 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .