Nov 8, 2021 - News
Scoop: "Ya Fav Trashman" ups his trash game with new hauling service
Terrill Haigler, also known by his Instagram handle Ya Fave Trashmand. Photo courtesy of Terrill Haigler
Terrill Haigler, also known by his Instagram handle "Ya Fav Trashman." Photo courtesy of Terrill Haigler

"Ya Fav Trashman" is hauling his way to a trash empire.

Driving the news: Terrill Haigler, a city sanitation worker-turned community activist better known by his Instagram handle, is launching a full-service trash hauling business this month.

  • Haigler hopes the effort will alleviate the city's trash problem and hold contractors accountable for where they dispose of their waste.
  • "We're trying to be the Amazon of hauling," Haigler told Axios.

Why it matters: Philadelphia has long struggled with trash collection, and the issue has only gotten worse during the pandemic.

  • The areas most affected are in some of the city's poorest neighborhoods in North, West and Southwest Philadelphia, according to the city's Litter Index.

How it works: The new service will remove material at construction and demolition sites and haul it away to a certified dump, Haigler said.

  • The service will offer monthly subscriptions for $3,500 and tackle single projects for $500 each.
  • Haigler intends to publicize a list of contractors that use his service as a sort of "preferred vendors list" to let people know what businesses dispose of their trash responsibly.

What he's saying: Haigler said the addition of a 25-yard trash truck in the coming weeks will allow him to enhance his neighborhood clean-up efforts by taking away debris and litter himself, instead of relying on city trucks to do the job.

  • "It just gives me more opportunity to make an impact with my own trash truck," he said. "If I have my own truck, I can just move freely."

Between the lines: Clearing trash and greening vacant lots has been found to significantly reduce gun violence and crime, according to a 2018 study.

  • It can also boost outdoor socialization and perceptions of safety, the study found.

The big picture: Haigler's long-term goal is to reduce illegal dumping and trash in the city, which he hopes will lead to a drop in poverty.

  • "Eliminating the amount of illegal dumps and short-dumping in Philadelphia will create spaces for other nonprofits and other community leaders to create green spaces for developers to build affordable housing," he said.
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