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Neighborhood Cleaning FAQ

We get phone calls, emails, Facebook & Instagram messages all day long... So we've compiled some of the most frequently asked questions around cleaning and greening in our neighborhood.

Want to be at forefront of our journey toward a cleaner and greener neighborhood? Join our Clean & Green Committee! They meet on the 3rd Tuesday of the month at 7:00p at SOSNA's office, 1901 Christian.


Where can I get a recycling bin?

SOSNA’s office has them sometimes depending on the City delivery schedule. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram for updates. If SOSNA doesn’t have them, google the closest “Philly Sanitation Center” and remember to bring proof of residence whether a utility bill or ID. Your local hardware store also has blue bins for purchase. Check out C&R Building Supply on Washington Avenue.

How do I report illegal dumping?

If you are witness to the actual dumping, call 911. If you do not witness the actual dumping, call 311 or download the Philly 311 app to submit a cleanup and enforcement request.

What if I have a neighbor who doesn’t put their trash out on the right day or the right way?

First, try to have a conversation with them. Maybe they’re new to the neighborhood or unaware of the issues of leaving trash on the sidewalks. If you can’t reach them, we have a neighborly downloadable letter on our website that goes over litter and recycling basics. If they really don’t want to hear it, contact our SWEEPs representative. Our SWEEP Officer is Stephanie Robinson, <>. (What is SWEEP?) Please only contact Stephanie as a 3rd step. 1) Try to talk to your neighbor about their trash violation, 2) leave a friendly and informative note on their door about how to properly dispose of trash and recycling, then if none of these work, reach out to Stephanie.

Why doesn’t SOSNA have a neighborhood street cleaning program like other parts of the City?

SOSNA previously had a pilot program where we worked with a contractor to sweep streets identified as high litter corridors by the Litter Index. The program was ultimately not sustainable due to the high cost. We’ve been exploring other options such as corporate sponsorship and expansion of the Clean Block Rep program. We can’t all be Center City and University City Districts!

What’s with the Big Bellies and the dumping they attract?

Many of the Big Bellies were purchased by SOSNA years ago and are maintained by City sanitation. The Big Bellies are solar compactors that can hold 4x as much waste compared to a conventional bin. Unfortunately, technology does have its flaws and the bin sometimes glitches and does not send a signal to the City that if it needs to be emptied. If this happens, please report it to 311 at least once a week until it is resolved. Pictures are helpful if you are using the Philly 311 mobile app (iPhone & Android available).

In addition, remember that Sanitation may come by one day to empty it and it fills right back up the next day. We do need more garbage cans around the neighborhood but then it becomes a custody battle - who will empty them and maintain them? This is an ongoing conversation amongst our Clean & Green committee and SOSNA Board of Directors.

Our next step is to implement Community Cans in response to a City ordinance that will require all take out food businesses to have a garbage bin outside 10 feet of their business. Can you think of a business in your block that could use a trash bin outside? Share this informational flyer with them!

Dog poop.

If you’ve got a dog, Step 1) pick up after your dog. Step 2) take that dog poop bag home with you and dispose of it there. Bonus points if you set out a small garbage bin on your stoop for others to use and empty weekly with your trash!

Thank you for doing your part to help us keep our neighborhood clean!


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