Philly Spring Cleanup: Let the Countdown Begin!

The Philadelphia Streets Department is joining forces with Mayor Michael Nutter in celebration of the one month countdown to the 4th Annual Philly Spring Cleanup, an event designed to raise awareness and put an end to illegal dumping and litter.

Some of Philadelphia’s top officials and community members will also be speaking at the event along with Nutter to encourage residents and organizations to “Keep Up the Sweep Up.”

“This is something that we’ve traditionally done every year,” says Holly Mantle of LevLane PR, the event’s publicist. “We want residents to know what is coming up and remind them about the cleanup in April.”

Generally, the actual spring cleanup takes place the first Saturday in April, except for last year when it conflicted with holidays.

According to Mantle, last year’s cleanup hosted over 230 project sites, disposed of 1.3 million pounds of trash, 139,540 pounds of recycling and cleaned up 50 parks and recreation centers as well as 763 neighborhood blocks.

“We also hope to see more and more people come out each year,” says Mantle. “Seeing people come out to these [events] and get energized for them is awesome.”

The countdown event takes place today, Wed., March 2, 11:30a.m.-1p.m. at the Village of Arts and Humanities on Germantown Ave. The actual Philly Spring Cleanup will take place one month from today on April 2. Visit for information, locations and registration.

Why I Love The Phillies

There is just something about that P that makes me proud. Is it the success on the field? Can’t be. ‘Cause I filled with pride long before they ever won anything. No, I love the Phillies because of their genuine give-back to the community. They absolutely GET the importance of PR in action. When Ryan Howard shows up to Hunting Park to debut a new youth baseball field, it’s not just lip service, it’s PR in action. When Jimmy Rollins gives his time and money to build computer labs in area schools, it’s no stunt. It’s genuine. Chase and Jen Utley’s commitment to animal rescue is not just a nice poster. It is from the heart. It’s the difference between PR for the sake of publicity and PR that develops public relationships. It’s also why I love the work that I do. I truly believe that business is a great driver of social change. Corporate Social Responsibility—or CSR—is an actual thing now. And that’s very cool. The Phillies were entrenched in the local community way before the CSR acronym came into play. The Phillies have crafted (and drafted) a winning ballclub, but their real success is the result of consistent, sincere community give-back. That’s why I love the Phillies. The rings are also nice.

Fairmount Park Conservancy On Nightly News

For our Fairmount Park Conservancy client, we bought the feel-good Huntington Park story to the attention of the nation with a feature segment on NBC Nightly New. Viewership topped 8 million!

Thinking Green: Poetic Cleanup

The City of Philadelphia Recycling Office’s largest-ever anti-litter campaign consists solely of the spoken word compositions and performances of five Philly street poets, each accompanied by either congas, acoustic bass, or saxophone. The campaign is the work of advertising agency LevLane, and is part of a city-wide neighborhood improvement initiative by Mayor Michael Nutter. The poetry performances were chosen for power, not prettiness. The campaign’s ad media executions of television ads and transit posters. It also includes street poetry events, Facebook and Twitter presences, signage-designated “Litter Free School Zones,” and block-by-block community mobilization drives. Credits include CCO Bruce Lev, CD Deb Racano, Executrive AD Lori Miller, Copywriter Jerry Selber, Print Production Anna Taylor.

At Your Disposal

April 26, 2010
By Amanda Smith-Teutsch
City of Philadelphia uses street poets to convey anti-littering campaign

Instead of preaching on the wickedness of littering, leaders in the city of Philadelphia think they´ve hit on a new way to get people to think twice about tossing cigarette butts and soda bottles out the car window.

“Our challenge was to raise awareness of the city´s litter problem at the street level to effect change,” said Scott Tattar, of LevLane, the advertising firm conducting the anti-littering campaign for the city.

The campaign´s organizers started with a series of focus groups to see what kind of message would be best received by city residents, Tattar said.

“What we gleaned from that focus group is that people don´t want to be dictated to,” he said. “They wanted to be spoken to by their peers. They ¼didn´t want ´Big Government´ pointing the finger at them saying, ´You better not litter.´ ”

What resulted was the “Un Litter Us” campaign, which takes the spoken-word compositions of five Philadelphia street poets, accompanied by congas, acoustic bass or saxophone.

The artists — Denice Frohman, Gregory Corbin, Steve Annan, Whitney Peyton and Carlo Campbell — currently have radio spots and 30- and 60-second videos on YouTube, which also appear on Philadelphia television.

“The city has a heartbeat,” says Corbin in the first video on the YouTube channel. “With broken glass, cigarette butts, plastic wrappers clogging its arteries. The city has a heartbeat, with smokestack lungs, trash dancing on its tongue. The city has a heartbeat, and it´s waiting for you to provide hope, to become change, to become litter free. The city has a heartbeat, and it´s waiting for you to come clean.”

The five artists featured in the campaign were among 100 street poets who auditioned for the agency and were chosen for their sentiments and performances.

The campaign, which also includes transit posters, was the idea of Mayor Michael Nutter and his citywide neighborhood improvement initiatives, Tattar said.

The campaign also will include street poetry events, Facebook and Twitter presences, “Litter Free School Zones,” and block-by-block community mobilization drives.

“It has had a phenomenal reception in every corner of the city,” Tattar said. “The hip-hop community, the artists community, to the actual residents.”

Tattar said he credits the public announcements with increasing participation in the city´s spring cleanup program, nearly doubling participation from 120 to 234 neighborhood projects.

The appeal, he said, is the approach.

“Most public, government campaigns make the mistake of being preachy,” Tattar said. “This avoids that in every way. It´s real people speaking real words, and it eliminates the preachy potential.”

Philadelphia-based LevLane is a marketing communications agency whose clients include regional KFC/Taco Bell, Beneficial Bank, The Philadelphia Center City District and Reliance Standard Life Insurance.

To view the videos, visit

Contact Waste & Recycling News reporter Amanda Smith-Teutsch at 330-865-6166 or