Litter along major Philadelphia highways is trashing Philly's reputation

Philadelphia is gearing up for its full return of the Fourth of July party on the parkway and this year, some people are saying that it will look much different from previous years as the city has gotten some unflattering nicknames, like "Filthadelphia." 

As you cruise down various stretches of highways like I-95, I-76, and I-676, you can see debris lining the roads and some local residents fear that it’s a bad image for people coming into the City of Brotherly Love. 

"Is it a good look? No. But, I imagine they just write it off like, ‘Oh, that’s just Philadelphia,’ which it’s not. Philly is a very pretty and clean place," said Richard Issa-Bockari, who was wrapping up a run in Farimount when he was asked about the cleanliness of the city. 

Pictures of the debris posted on social media drew hundreds of comments, so FOX 29’s Shawnette Wilson reached out to PennDOT about maintaining the highways.

Brad Rudolph, of PennDOT, says that the trash is more about the people causing the problem than the problem itself. 

"It’s about people throwing out the trash and thinking it’s okay," said Rudolph. "We clean up as much as we possibly can. We could go through an entire corridor and clean up big debris and some of the items we see on the roadway and the next day, there could be more trash out there." 


Although locals deal with trash in their city every day, Issa-Bockari says it also matters what visitors think when they're visiting Philadelphia. 

"You don’t want your city to have a reputation of being dirty," said Issa-Bockari. "In the grand scheme of things, we have a lot of things coming. We have the world cup coming in a couple of years in 2026, and you want to keep having big events like that on a global stage, you gotta be a little bit cleaner."

FOX 29 wants to know what you think about trash across the city. Tweet @FOX29philly and tell us where you think litter is the worst.