A small change to trash can lids may cut the amount of litter on Harrisburg streets.
That’s the idea behind “Stop the Drop,” a campaign to turn home trash cans into, essentially, public trash cans. Plus, the new lids may feature artsy designs from residents.
The new lids are bright orange with a hole in the center that residents can attach to their trash cans, replacing their existing, solid lids. Pedestrians then can put litter into the can through the hole, rather than toss it in the street, said Julie Walter, neighborhood revitalization manager at Tri County Community Action, a part of the grassroots coalition Clean and Green Harrisburg.
A successful three-month pilot run on 6th and Market streets convinced the coalition to roll out the lids citywide, Walter said.
“[We were] excited that people were actually using the lids,” she said about the trial run. “When we would go check them out, there would be coffee cups and chip bags in the cans. You can tell that there was actually a need.”
In late July, residents citywide will be able to volunteer to swap their lids out with the new lids. These new lids work well with rowhome residents who place their trash cans at the front of their house, she said.
In the meantime, residents get the chance to design a decorative decal for the lids. The lids will feature the top designs from each age group, and the top four designs from each division will earn cash prizes. Find fliers with a design template at local community centers, businesses, TCCA’s Derry Street office or Capital Region Water’s customer service center on Pine Dr. near Arsenal Blvd.
Clean and Green Harrisburg, a coalition of community groups, is taking the lead on the project while sponsors, including Capital Region Water, will assist with purchasing lids and decals. Clean and Green Harrisburg also coordinates 2-Minute Tuesdays and the Great Harrisburg Cleanup on Earth Day, which CRW also supports.
Limited city resources led the coalition to a solution not found in other cities, Walter said.
The coalition opted for this campaign proposed by the Weathergauge Group, a collaboration of Fathom Studio and JPJ Consulting, because it “was innovative and very community oriented,” she said.
“The community starts taking control of their own issue,” she said. “Everything is very community-grounded.”
This article was updated at 5:00 p.m. to correct sponsorship information and the name of the consulting group.
Author: Danielle Roth