After more than a year, almost one-fifth of city sanitation workers are out on sick leave at any time, and the trucks are still full.
With the pandemic, trash collection in the city shifted from a mix of commercial and residential to largely residential, which overburdened the Philadelphia Sanitation Department. After more than a year, almost one-fifth of city sanitation workers are out on sick leave at any time, and the trucks are still full. As restaurants and offices reopen, private firms are easing the stress on the system, but there are still weeks when trash and recycling collection is off-schedule.
This has also lead to more people being fined for leaving their trash out too soon, unaware of a change.
Here are a few ways to find out about delays.
Sign up with your neighborhood group. The easiest way to stay informed is to get the newsletter from your neighbors. The Chestnut Hill Business Association newsletter includes notices about trash collection changes. The West Mt. Airy Neighbors, East Mt. Airy Neighbors, and the Mt. Airy BID have newsletters and websites that try to keep up on these issues. More than that, they provide other useful information and are a tool for organization already in place when a new issue comes up.
Social media. The city posts updates on Twitter @PhilaStreets. These are frequently re-tweeted by local groups.
City sites. If there is a problem to report, such as a missed pickup, a pothole or a dead animal, the information is at phila.gov/trashday. Or dial 311.
phila.gov/trashday also lists the holiday schedule and links to other related streets issues.
There are three city sites that overlap, and any of them will link you to the correct information, some more directly than others. PhiladelphiaStreets.com/sanitation/residential/ has alerts on schedule changes and guidelines for recycling. It also has the collection holiday schedule and a tool for confirming your collection day. There has been confusion about the new recycling guidelines, listed in this site in detail. Plastics, for example, can only be recycling if they are types 1, 2, or 5 (or 2-1-5) and even then small pieces are discouraged, since they fly out of the machinery – except plastic bottle caps if they are attached to the bottles.
Streetsmartphl.phila.gov is an interactive guide to the trash collection, paving, and permits granted nearby that might close a street (PGW work, etc.). Users can find their location on a map and see information on trash pickup, street closures, paving and snow plowing.