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Glitter is Philly’s split-it-with-your-neighbors block cleaning service for neighbors, businesses, and communities. They offer an affordable solution to keep litter and trash off our streets and sidewalks. Their work is crucial to improving neighborhoods by making a clean community accessible to all.
Why did you become a member?
We joined because our values and goals align with the values of CircularPHL. We want to see a greener, more equitable Philadelphia. Some of the ways we will get there are by solving the litter crisis and providing living wage work to neighbors with barriers to work. Getting the litter off the streets will create an attitude shift where Philadelphians can believe that better is possible. If we can tackle something as ‘simple’ as litter then we can move on to things like block-wide composting, and neighborhood wide recycling and… We hope to be a part of the attitude shift and the actual systems needed to bring neighbors together to solve these important community challenges.
What does a circular economy mean to your organization?
Well, we aren’t producers (or event recyclers), but what we are is a system for bringing financial and human capital together to tackle problems. So in a way we are building a little economy on each block where money gets invested in solutions for that block. Starting with litter and paying folks to pick it up, but ending with… who knows? Street lighting? Filling potholes? Planting trees and flowers? Benches at bus stops? We want to create what neighbors need by effectively and efficiently pooling resources.
How is your organization practicing circularity?
We are pooling financial pledges from neighbors into a shared subscription for litter removal on a block that then hires someone, usually a neighbor from the area, to get paid to clean that block. We are creating a payment loop employing folks to solve problems in our city.
How can others advance the circular economy?
Of course there are our personal choices, from composting to thrifting, etc., but the most important thing we can do is apply pressure to the system managers and designers – the folks who are making the decisions that govern our municipal waste streams, the companies that wrap our products in plastic. We need to change the whole system; not just our individual choices. Seek out ways to do that.