Bridesburg Strong. That’s something that lifelong resident Adam Visconto says often, quoting those Richmond Street banners, and they’re not just words. He backs it up in his actions too. Adam has tremendous pride in the neighborhood that he grew up in, and where he and his wife are now raising their three daughters.
He began to notice an increase in trash and litter around the neighborhood way back in 2013. So, Adam began seeking out solutions and partnered with the Bridesburg Business Association who funded two public trash cans – at Richmond and Ash; and Richmond and Plum. Since then, he’s been maintaining them every week, changing out the bags and making sure they are disposed of properly.
Littering continues to be a big problem in Philadelphia, and in Bridesburg. Adam had recently gotten involved with Riverfront North Partnership around bringing a riverfront park to Delaware Ave and Orthodox Street and he brought up the idea of getting more neighbors involved to keep Bridesburg clean. He also mentioned that having more trashcans around some of the higher trafficked areas would be a huge help – namely at Richmond and Orthodox Street, just up the street from what will be the new riverfront park.
It seems self-explanatory. the more trash cans around, the less trash and litter on the ground. Psychology backs that notion up too. Social psychologist Wesley Schultz, says by the 1980s, it was not only seen as socially taboo—but unethical—to just throw your trash on the ground. Rates of littering have steadily decreased since then, but are still a lot!
Social norms aren’t 100 percent effective in themselves. And with littering, Schultz’s research showed that people most often break that taboo for really practical reasons – when there are no trash cans close by.
Thanks to some funding that Riverfront North had secured that was intended to empower community residents to act on ideas that would benefit environmental factors of their community, Adam’s request for more trash cans was fulfilled! There are THREE new cans located at Richmond and Orthodox; Richmond and Sellers; and Richmond and Buckius.
To bring some color and fun to these new additions to the neighborhood, Riverfront North commissioned local artist Bobby Hunter to bring some color to these practical tools. Bobby incorporated an ongoing theme of “To the River” into the designs as Riverfront North is excited to bring Bridesburg (and the surrounding communities) back to the river in the near future…straight down Orthodox street.
Thank you to Adam and to Bobby for helping make Bridesburg a bit cleaner, and a bit brighter. Adam sums it up best when he says “a clean neighborhood is a safe neighborhood. It’s really as simple as that for me. The cans are a way for all of us to do a small part in keeping the community clean.”
Many hands definitely make for lighter work. If you’d like to get involved in this regular maintenance or in the frequent cleanups that Adam is helping to coordinate, reach out to Gina Craigo RNP Community Engagement Manager at email@example.com or 215-962-8726.