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What's Happening in:  Point Breeze 

New pedal-operated trash can installed in South Philly

We’re all pretty well aware of the trash problem in our city by now. While it’s certainly not a problem that can be fixed overnight, these new pedal-operated trash cans that will be coming to the city over the next few years may encourage more people to dispose of their garbage without getting their hands dirty.


Photo of the trash can from Reddit

The first trash can of this kind in our city was installed recently at Dickinson Street and Point Breeze Avenue.

More on the trash cans from PhillyMag:

Streets Commissioner David Perri said he has heard residents’ complaints and come up with a solution. All of the city’s new BigBelly trash cans, as well as any that are replaced moving forward, will be equipped with foot pedals, he said.

“People feel uncomfortable touching the handle, so we met with BigBelly several times and pressed upon them the need to develop a foot pedal to activate the device,” said Perri. “Fortunately, they’ve come up with a prototype and it works really well.”


Photo of the cans from the Streets Department.

Although you’ll be seeing some of these cans popping up around the city, it will be a few years before you see the pedal-operated cans everywhere since the trash cans have a 10-year life cycle.

This isn’t the only thing being done to help fix our trash problem in Philadelphia. We previously told you about two new bills that were proposed to increase the number of trash and recycling bins throughout the city.

Do you think these new trash cans will help encourage more people to properly dispose of waste?

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7 Responses to New pedal-operated trash can installed in South Philly

  1. Zack Wagner May 28, 2015 at 9:22 am #

    The trash problem in this city is due to people throwing away their house trash in public cans. If they can solve that, the problem will be greatly lessened.

    • Lee May 28, 2015 at 10:27 am #

      no, the trash problem is from people being slobs.

  2. Anthony May 28, 2015 at 9:44 am #

    My opinion – In dense retail corridors, these types of trash cans are a necessity in any city (and often provided in other cities). People need to have a place to dispose of their trash, especially since tourists might be visiting food and retail establishments. I especially like these types of cans because it’s difficult to fill them with household trash…and they’re no-touch!

    On more residential blocks, trash cans should not be provided. The residents need to lead the charge on changing the culture if it’s a priority. I personally think that enforcement of fines should be pursued in some cases to help along that change. There is no reason to be walking down the street throwing soda cans onto the sidewalk. Totally ridiculous.

    Also, I don’t like the new bills enforcing restaurants to place trash cans and manage trash removal outside. I value our businesses and I don’t see why the burden should be placed on them unless they are generating an extraordinary amount of trash (which I have yet to see anywhere, even on East Passyunk).

    • Ayn Rand, is that you? May 28, 2015 at 10:43 am #

      I guess Anthony has never been on Passyunk near Pats and Genos then.

      Yeah, why should the “burden” be placed on the establishments that generate the consumables that often become trash. What a horrible idea, infusing a modicum of responsibility on the places making money off disposable things.
      (No its not the business’ fault some people are slobs but they have to hold up one end of the bargain to encourage change.)

      • Anthony May 29, 2015 at 10:44 am #

        No need for sarcasm, but you’re right there is an exception…Pats/Genos, my bad. In most cases, the burden should be placed on the owner of the disposables (e.g. the person with it in their hand). The problem with legislation is that it is usually crafted to address the exceptions, but creates a headache for everyone else. The ability of our society to be able to use discretion/good judgement is long passed.

  3. Steve May 28, 2015 at 2:51 pm #

    Unfortunately, I don’t think this will have much impact. There is a mind-set in this city (especially neighborhoods outside of Center City District) that it is ok to throw garbage on the ground. I live on 9th street across from St. Nick’s church and I am shocked at how many people will go in and out of funerals, weddings, mass, etc on a Sat/Sun and literally throw their trash on the sidewalk outside the church or in the storm drain rather than in the FIVE garbage cans outside various apartment buildings right next to the church (or….even bring it into the church and throw it away there). I have publicly called people out while they are in the process of littering and most will just shrug or laugh or try to curse me out. It’s bizarre.

  4. Baloo May 31, 2015 at 12:10 pm #

    Interesting that this shows up in Point Breeze. Has the District Councilman finally taken a page out of Ori Feibush’s play book? It’s great to see more trash cans in the city though, they’re desperately needed.

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