How Disneyland Influenced Philadelphia Waste Management

Philadelphia approved a mandate to ensure a trash can is strategically placed outside any place that sells food to help reduce litter and stray trash

By Mary Velan


Philadelphia approved a mandate to ensure a trash can is strategically placed outside any place that sells food to help reduce litter and stray trash.


The Philadelphia City Council passed a plan that requires all stores in the city to have trash and recycling bins outside their establishments if they sell any type of food. No matter the size of the store, all commercial buildings offering food products to consumers must offer trash and recycling receptacles within ten feet of their entrance. The goal is to prevent littering on public sidewalks by making garbage disposal easy and convenient.

The idea of placing trash and recycling bins directly outside certain restaurants and stores was inspired by a design strategy implemented in Disneyland. The designers of the famed theme parks had litter prevention down to a science. When Disneyland was built, it was determined that people would simply throw their garbage on the ground if a trash can was not available within 30 steps from a store or restaurant. Disneyland has trash cans placed close together so there is limited opportunity for park goers to feel the need to litter rather than throw items away, CBS Philly reported.

The Philadelphia City Council decided to adopt this strategy in an effort to clean up its streets and promote responsible waste disposal practices. The city is focusing the mandate on restaurants and corner stores in particular that receive significant foot traffic.

In addition, the city approved another trash-related bill that requires all landlords to supply trash and recycling bins within apartment buildings so waste does not have to be stored in individual housing units. If either mandate is violated, landlords could face fines up to $150 and business owners $100.

Throwing Away Correctly

Many communities are cracking down on garbage collection practices. Cincinnati , for example, implemented new rules that result in significant fines for residents who use the wrong kind of garbage can or dispose of certain waste incorrectly. If a resident uses the wrong garbage can, they could owe the city $50, while throwing away construction debris improperly could cost them $2,000 in fines, reported.

Furthermore, the city’s trash collection program changed from a five-day to a four-day schedule to enable the Public Services Department to spend Fridays cleaning up illegal dumping sites and other stray garbage. The goal is to engage residents to be more responsible with trash disposal and help reduce the burden on public agencies, reported.

Cincinnati residents can pick up an additional trash can for free before the new rules are fully enforced. The city has purchased an extra 4,000 bins to be given away to ensure all residents have the opportunity to comply to the rules and avoid costly fees, WCPO reported.

Keep America Beautiful

Some cities are receiving financial assistance to develop more effective trash and recycling programs in the local community. The Keep America Beautiful campaign provides grants to municipalities launching trash management programs to clean up public spaces and encourage more responsible waste disposal behavior.

The Silver City Office of Sustainability recently received a Keep America Beautiful Grant worth $4,560 to support the purchase of recycling bins for city parks. The Dr. Pepper Snapple Group funded the grant program, which is helping 12 communities increase their recycling capabilities. Silver City will use the funding to add 12 recycling bins, each costing $380, throughout the community.

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