"'It's almost part of the social norm in some circles to think of the city as 'Filthadelphia,' ' he said. 'It's become ingrained in people.'
Deputy Mayor Rina Cutler agreed that the local outlook makes it more difficult to keep the city clean.
'People are disconnected from the fact that littering is very disrespectful to their city,' she said. 'The biggest difference [between cleaner cities and Philadelphia] is mind-set and attitude.'"
The bad reputation has turned into a feedback cycle in which people think it's acceptable to litter. Officials are trying to figure out how to reverse that cycle.