AMONG many other delightful offerings, our city is known for two things: large people, and people who like to trash the place by spitting on the sidewalks and tossing their potato-chip bags wherever they like. (We wonder if there's a connection between the two.)

So City Hall made a canny addition late last month when it rolled out 500 "big belly" litter baskets - those pewter-colored gizmos you may have seen sprouting up on corners around town.

(Note to Philadelphians: If it's metal, on a corner, has a slot for putting stuff in, it's either a mailbox or it's a trash can - a neat invention into which you can put stuff you don't want anymore.)

These are actually solar-powered trash compactors that will save energy costs and cut greenhouse-gas emissions by 80 percent. Some also feature a recycling bin.

The cans were bought with a $1.5 million grant from the state Department of Environmental Protection. The cans are so cool they send a text message to the city when they are full, and so efficient they require only five collections a week, instead of 19.

If we don't watch out, Philadelphia is going to start being called the Portland of the East. *