Former sanitation worker organizes trash walk for Earth Day

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- One man has made it has mission to clean up Philadelphia and this Earth Day, he's enlisting help of his neighbors to not just pick up trash, but spotlight neighborhoods often overlooked and in desperate need of clean up.

"I want to most importantly impact a community that seems to be forgotten about," said Terrill Haigler.

One of those communities is Kensington, the epicenter of the opioid epidemic where sidewalks are often littered with trash and dirty needles.

Haigler is a former city sanitation worker who is known as a "Ya Fav Trashman" - a grassroots pandemic campaign he turned into a full time job.

He says this Earth Day is about getting your neighbors involved and helping shine a light on some of the city's overlooked sections.

"There are some people that get to drive from their house to their job and never see this, experience it, and there are other people who live it everyday," he said.

So, Haigler says he's asking volunteers to sign up for his Earth Day Walk.

It starts at Kensington and Lehigh and weaves through various blocks for 3.1 miles. Residents are asked to pick up trash along the route.

He says he teamed up with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, so that for every bag of trash collected, a tree will be planted in a Black and brown neighborhood.

"Studies show that in Black and brown neighborhoods there are less trees and with less trees comes bad air pollution, bad scenery, lack or pride, hope," he said. "I want to make sure everyone feels seen and acknowledged."

Haigler says the goal is to hopefully plant up to 1,000 trees over the next five years.
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