November 29, 2007

A Step in the Right Direction, Recycling in Philadelphia

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 6:41 pm by Tiffany Yoon

So now that Michael Nutter is set up to become Philadelphia’s next mayor (though he’s been called the mayor since he won the primaries) I pose the question, what does he plan to do about cleaning up our city? Literally?

Back in April, the Recycling Alliance of Philadelphia compiled a 5 Point Agenda for all of the Philadelphia mayoral candidates. These five points are as follows:

  1. As Mayor, be the official voice and champion for Philadelphia’s Recycling program. Declare the full implementation of a successful recycling program as a priority of your administration.
  2. Appoint within the first four months of your administration accomplished individuals to the positions of Streets Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner for Sanitation and Recycling Coordinator.
  3. Reorganize and re-task within the first four months the Solid Waste Advisory Committee (SWAC), the Recycling Advisory Committee (RAC) and the Interagency Task Force as oversight groups to the Streets Department on behalf of the Mayor as outline in the law.
  4. Direct the Streets Commissioner, working witht eh SWAC and RAC, to retain expertise to produce a comprehensive integrated solid waste management plan and offer recommendations to the Mayor within the first six months of the administration.
  5. Provide for the financing and implement the plan before the end of the first Mayoral term in office.

The Recycling Alliance of Philadelphia doesn’t mean to treat the mayoral candidates (or now just Michael Nutter) like an idiot, but history of the city/mayor’s inability to get their shit together causes them to spell things out. It’s too soon to say whether Nutter plans on adhering to the 5 Point Agenda that the Recycling Alliance has posed, but there have been rumors of Nutter administering a recycling program through Recycle Bank, a Philadelphia based company.

Recycle Bank is a great recycling program that makes it easy for partakers and beneficial to everyone. Participants of Recycle Bank receive barcoded trash receptacles in which people dispose of their recyclable items. They keep track of how much you recycle through the barcode, and the more you recycle the more benefits you receive. The program gains sponsors that give away coupons/discounts/maybe even free stuff to frequent recyclers. For example, you could gain a 10% coupon to Whole Foods for reaching a recycling quota.

The program is beneficial to the city for the top following reasons:

  • it’s good for the environment
  • the city’s government wouldn’t have to devote as much of its budget to landfills (not LandPhil, ha) with more recycling
  • local businesses (recyclebank sponsors) would benefit, so you’d also be putting more money into the city
  • RecycleBank uses Single Stream Recycling, which makes it much easier for participants. There’s no need to separate the different types of recyclables, they do it for you.

Please, don’t just wait for Nutter to administer RecycleBank’s program. You can go to their website and sign up without the government implementing it.

The only successful recycling that I’ve witnessed in this city is when I find bums rummaging through my garbage… snaggin whatever they can find to reuse. Let’s try to change that.

This video actually has nothing to do with Recycle Bank or Philadelphia, it’s in London, but it gets the recycling message across pretty well. The ultra poppy electronic song will be stuck in your head all day. Enjoy:

More details/Direct Quotes from Nutter Administration/Recycling Bank to come