Is 3-1-1 A Joke In Your Town?

-

Philly 3-1-1 logoPhiladelphia’s city government doesn’t have the best reputation in providing services. Actually, that’s a gigantic understatement. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who has had a positive experience dealing with our city government in the 14-plus years I’ve lived here. Finding the right department and contact person is, at times, a Sisyphean task.

Philly 3-1-1 logoPhiladelphia’s city government doesn’t have the best reputation in providing services. Actually, that’s a gigantic understatement. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who has had a positive experience dealing with our city government in the 14-plus years I’ve lived here. Finding the right department and contact person is, at times, a Sisyphean task.

And waiting for a return callfrom a local city employee can take years.

In order to respond to the complaints about this inefficient spider web, the city government lastyear instituted Philly311, a hotline intended to streamline the process of finding city information.

By calling 311, users will have the opportunity to interact with an operator who can provide information about whom to contact for a solution to a problem, if they don’t already know the answer.It sounds good. But many ideas from the Philly city government sound good: they almost never work.

I decided to try Philly311 out for myself. I’ve always had a problem with recycling. My wife and I have a tiny front lawn in front of our house that we have turned into a garden. Every week, we have to pull out weeds and trim different plants. We place the remains into garbage bags and into the recycling bin. However, they never get picked up. We’ve looked online and have never been able to figure out what to do. I called 3-1-1 on a Tuesday night a little after 6:30 p.m., as the website says the phone line is open 24 hours a day.

It took about 10 rings until a voice prompt of Mayor Michael Nutter was heard, with a recording about all Philly 311 has to offer. This tape played for about a minute before it rebooted. I then heard Mayor Nutter’s distinctive nasal twang again. But, after another minute, a live operator finally picked up the phone. I told her about my question. And she told me the answer: I could cut the weeds and shrubbery into small pieces that could fit into a garbage bag and place them in the trash, as the only items recycled in the city are plastic, paper, cardboard and aluminum.

And, if I was unable to fit these into individual garbage bags, I could drop these off at a local sanitation site.I then asked her where the local sanitation site was. She asked me my address and placed me on hold. Less than a minute later, she picked the line back up and told me where the nearest location was. All in all, I think this is a good start for the system. And it’s a good thing for the city. Our government is a frustrating mess. Philly311 could help clean it up.

Share this article

Recent posts

9 Qualities Every Sports Journalist Needs

If you have a natural love for sports and feel like you have what it takes to write about it for a living, becoming...

Becoming a Cop- The Essential Skill-Set for Successful Policing

If you find the idea of a career where you can help others and protect your community appealing, working as a police officer might...

Recovery Survivors Have A Better Success Rate By Doing This One Thing

By Jason Lewis Eliminating consumption of drugs and alcohol and enrolling in a treatment program are the first steps in the recovery process. However, it...

Hot Sauce From West Africa Hits US Groceries For More Food Inclusion

It’s no surprise that hot sauce represents a major food connection. It even holds tremendous sentimental value for all sorts of diverse...

PKU Awareness Month Spotlights Philadelphia native, Mark Slopey

May is PKU Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness of this rare, lifelong genetic condition. A Philadelphia native, Mark Slopey, has...

Popular categories

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Recent comments

focus9 on Lens
George Leon on Talk Like A Pirate Day
Joe Vallee on Lidge Falters….Again
George Leon on Conspiracy? Not So Much
George Leon on The Tea Parties
focus9 on PennDot As Cop
George Leon on Betting Against America
George Leon on Hatred in America
secretariot on Partying with Paris
George Leon on I Predict A Riot
George Leon on Horror From The Airwaves