While Mayor Michael Nutter is busy making good on his campaign promise to turn Philadelphia into a green city, independent operators DePaul USA and Keep Philadelphia Beautiful have recently launched campaigns that will help the mayor reach his goal, albeit through different means.
On Tuesday, Keep Philadelphia Beautiful kicked off its “Littering is Wrong Too,” interactive campaign, which targets mobile, Internet-savvy residents in the 18-34 age bracket. The campaign utilizes social media outlets, events and other methods to inform residents about the effects of littering. Using a relaxed, more humorous vibe, the initiative’s website, www.litteringiswrongtoo.org, features assorted comical “wrongs;” visitors are asked to submit their “wrongs” on the site, which also features a bevy of anti-littering information and what to do if you spot a serious wrong; twitter users can also use the hash tag algorithm “#litteriswrongtoo.”
“This campaign is not only attention-getting, it demands interaction and involvement,” said Matt McKenna, president and chief executive officer of Keep America Beautiful. “Littering isn’t top-of-mind for most people. We need to first get people talking, and in the process, begin establishing the social norm that that littering is socially unacceptable behavior.”
Philadelphia More Beautiful has spearheaded the local anti-littering movement since its reformation in 2007; its three main focal points are litter prevention, waste reduction and beautification/community improvement.
Depaul USA, a locally-based homeless outreach and service provider with a national reach, is taking an entirely different track in confronting the litter issue — by hiring men in transition to help clean it up. Last Thursday, Depaul officials launched its Immaculate Cleaning Service, which will have layers of positive impact, such as providing employment to the men staying in the Depaul House, a transitional, all-male resident unit in Germantown.
Those hired by the Immaculate Cleaning Service will be contracted out, and part of their revenue will go toward Depaul House expenses and repaying the five-year loan from the Patricia Kind Family Foundation, a private philanthropic organization with deep roots in the Delaware Valley.
“This loan can do multiple duties. Initially, the funds will help Depaul USA launch a social enterprise,” said Laura Kind McKenna, managing trustee of Patricia Kind Family Foundation, through a statement released by the foundation. “As Depaul USA repays the loan, the funds can then be re-invested in other programs that benefit still more Philadelphians. In order for Immaculate Cleaning Services to succeed, it is very important that Depaul USA think like a business. A loan creates greater incentives than a grant to focus on the bottom line and be fiscally disciplined.”
Depaul USA Executive Director Chuck Levesque said the impacts of the partnership with the foundation and the creation of the cleaning service cannot be understated.
“Everyone at Depaul USA is very excited about Immaculate Cleaning Services and its potential to contribute to a double bottom line,” Levesque said. “Which is work for our guys at Depaul House, and income to support Depaul House operations.”