By: Siqi Zheng and Joey Zhao
For the past few weeks, we were assigned to survey Chinatown’s cleanliness, specifically the area between 9th and 12th Street and Vine and Arch Street. As part of the survey, we explored the neighborhood and took note of the amount of trash cans, trash piles, graffiti, as well as bus stops around the area. Our evaluation was based on the amount of trash rather than the type of trash that we saw. Some interesting places where we found trash included inside poles and on top of buildings. If people go out of their way to throw their trash away, why not go out of their way to clean up the community.
To be frank, we all know the cause of the trash; you and me. The main culprit is the lack of communication and education in
circulation around Chinatown. Another cause of this accumulation results from the lack of trashcans in the proximity. The owner of Bubblefish, Xu Lin, says, “There is a lack of communication and tenants who live here do not know the regulations. I think it’s education; people don’t know. There is a language barrier.” Lin suggests, “Materials in Chinese would be helpful.”
This is a very serious matter that must be taken into careful consideration not only from the residents in Chinatown but also from those who visit on a daily basis. We must all step up and do our little share in shaping our lovely community. “[Cleanliness] makes Chinatown a more beautiful community and brings more business.” The best way for each and everyone one of us to start would be to put trash in the right areas. “I think we can do better than this,” Lin left on a positive note. Communication, Education, and Cooperation are the key components to shaping our community.
Joey and Siqi are currently interns at PCDC under the Keep Philadelphia Beautiful Grant.