From February - August 2016, I collaborated with Scott Quitel (LandHealth Institute) to facilitate a group of concerned neighbors through thinking about the trash issue in South Philadelphia and create an intervention for change. The group came up with a solution that hinged on activating corners as public spaces. 

Activation one: What's in your trash?

10/20/16 - A party for a clean South Philadelphia, including games with the Trashmobile, a hands-on trash sort with Maurice Sampson (Clean Water Action), surveys about trash experiences and resources, and a presentation by RAIR. Photos by Steve Weinik. 


"Trash Academy sees an opportunity to utilize the public nature of corners as an asset for addressing the trash issue and rebuilding community connections. Corners are the communal plaza of the block, a place for spontaneous run-ins. They also tend to gather trash, in part because they are “public,” unlike the private spaces in front of homes where ownership, and thus responsibility, are more clearly spelled out.  The project seeks to create more opportunity for public encounter, reinforcing the public domain as a positive space for sharing knowledge and getting to know your neighbors. To do this, we propose installing imaginative trashcan structures for public use at two strategic corners to test how they impact the public space and the behavior of passersby."



Trash Academy is a “collaboratory” with community residents of South Philadelphia, The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program’s Restored Spaces Initiative, and LandHealth Institute.