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3 Sustainability Policies that City Council wants to pass in 2016
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3 Sustainability Policies that City Council wants to pass in 2016

A new year means new legislation possible in city council.

We chatted with Councilman Mark Squilla (who was hanging out with our buddy Connor Barwin) during the recent Treecycling on South Street. The Councilman has his eyes on three possible sustainability bills for 2016.

3 Sustainability Bills we could see in City Council for 2016:

  1. Plastic bag fee – This legislation is quite familiar to us at GPB, as we helped build awareness for this issue for a few years. The plastic bag fee would be $.05 if you didn’t BYO, and reduce the number of bags given out at checkout. This bill has gone up to bat two times prior in City Council (2007 / 2009) – co-sponsored in ’09 by now Mayor Kenney. However, there have been challenges due to plastic industry lobbyists, supermarkets and a public misperception of cost.

Squilla mentioned a goal to bring the plastic bag legislation to City Council again before February – which is coming up quickly. He also mentioned tying the legislation with a reusable bag distribution for low-income neighborhoods and perhaps a ‘bag credit’ program if people reused their bags.

 

2. Circulars: This ordinance would inhibit businesses from giving free circulars in your mailbox and doors. Often, these flyers end up on sidewalks and streets due to sloppy distribution habits.

Circular legislation would reduce street litter as a result.

3. Street Cleaning: This hotly debated topic is due to umbrage from city residents too lazy to move their cars for the street cleaning trucks weekly or biweekly during the pilot program a few years ago.

Squilla compares the program to Manhattan, where they must move cars twice per week for a street cleaning. However, if the 215 decided to move forward with the program, they’d phase in gradually so the cost wouldn’t be so tremendous to the city.

Another issue hot on Squilla’s mind? Implementing a bedbug policy to work with landlords, residents and businesses to nip the spread in the bud.

Readers, what sustainability legislation would you like to see possible?

 

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Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake. View all posts by Julie Hancher

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