Metro News – A new report was shared today that details the number of taxpayer dollars that cities use to pay for the disposal of waste and to clean up illegal dumping.
The report was put together by Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful and Burns & McDonnell, The Cost of Litter & Illegal Dumping in Pennsylvania – A Study of Nine Cities Across the Commonwealth.
Philly was one of the nine cities across the state that participated.
A release states that Philly spends over $48 million annually on education, clean-up, enforcement and prevention to combat litter and illegal dumping. It was reported that 89 percent of the costs go to clean-up efforts.
Nic Esposito, the Director of the Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet, said as a response to the study, “This study provides us a baseline on our spending efforts and shows that we still have work to do to move toward our Zero Waste goals,” as only 11 percent of the funding will go toward preventative measures, which Esposito views as key, “In the long run, the only way to reduce this cost burden is to invest more in preventative measures because, without them, the cost of cleaning up our trash will only continue to rise.”
Shannon Reiter, President of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful said in a release that, “While litter and illegal dumping are often discussed as social or environmental problems, rarely do we think about their economic impact.”
Ritter added, “Understanding these costs is a critical first step in developing strategies to change littering behavior. We’re seeing that even extensive and expensive clean-up efforts can’t keep pace with the amount of litter that’s accumulating. The only way to reduce this cost burden is to reduce littering through preventive measures, such as expanding solid waste and recycling infrastructure and developing effective school-based and consumer education.”