The term “Garbage Garden” does not seem to be something that is to be desired but that is exactly what is attempting to be created in Downtown Philadelphia. Currently, over 15 City of Philadelphia dumpsters and multiple trash cans fill Drury Street in Midtown Village. McGillin’s Olde Ale House is the only business on the street with a front door that opens to the street, so the problems seemed to be easily overlooked.
Chris Mullins, self proclaimed hippie and the owner of McGillin’s, which is the oldest pub in all of Philadelphia, has been searching for a green solution to the problem.
“I’d like to establish a spot to allow businesses to combine their waste and deal with their product in a more sanitary way,” said Mullins.
The concept for the “Drury Street Garden” would be a communal waste area in Midtown Village. Both restaurants and business would be able to take their waste to the garbage garden and share in the removal costs. This would also be an option for recyclables and compost, which is currently quite limited in Center City.
Garbage gardens are commonly used for places like shopping centers but rarely utilized to help commercial businesses in dense urban areas. Currently, City rules require businesses to arrange their own garbage and recycling pick-ups but options are severely limited.
The original idea for the garbage garden was to simply get the unsightly dumpsters away from the front of the businesses. Although the idea is still in the beginning stages, it has already expanded and is picking up serious momentum.
Area businesses have already implemented a variety of green tactics such as not using plastics to reduce waste but the “Drury Street Garden” sparked it all. The McGillian’s Olde Ale House has only 10 percent of its total waste go to the landfill; the rest is recycled or composted.
There is a lot of opportunity for the City of Philadelphia to take part in improving their waste removal with producing almost 3 million tons of garbage last year. 2.2 million of those tons were generated by businesses in the commercial sector of the City.
McGillin’s may be the oldest pub in the city but they are leading the newest concepts in waste removal. Proper waste removal is definitely a team effort and the “Drury Street Garden” will need major contributions to make it a success.