Sunday, April 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Your curb enthusiasm

The Recycling Rewards Program offers incentives for residents to be more attentive to what they're throwing out and what they're setting out for those colorful trucks. But there's still plenty of work to be done further upstream, making it obvious to consumers what packaging is or isn't recyclable and making it more attractive for manufacturers to sell recyclably-packaged goods in our town.

Your curb enthusiasm

One of the city´s colorfully-decorated recycling trucks.
One of the city's colorfully-decorated recycling trucks.

On Saturday Mayor Nutter kicked off Philadelphia's Recycling Rewards Program in Center City and South Philadelphia in a fun event at The Singing Fountain.

With info tables, free recycling bins, a psychedelic recycling truck, a steady groove from the Jazz Guardians and an appearance by Curby Bucket, Nutter rallied the crowd to embrace recycling. In a clever bit of political appropriation, Nutter compared the state of recycling here - last year at this time Philly was paying for recycling, now we're getting paid - to the never-say-die Flyers, who had just stormed back from 0-3 to win their playoff series with the Boston Bruins.

The Recycling Rewards Program offers incentives for residents to be more attentive to what they're throwing out and what they're setting out for those colorful trucks. But there's still plenty of work to be done further upstream, making it obvious to consumers what packaging is or isn't recyclable and making it more attractive for manufacturers to sell recyclably-packaged goods in our town.

I had a moment to ask the Mayor about potential initiatives to address this upstream flashpoint, and he replied that it is something he has been working on, looking at ways both to make the #1 and #2 plastics (the ones Philly can recycle) more visible and prevalent, and to expand our technology to handle other plastics as well. Here's a brief (2-minute) audio clip (MP3, 1 MB) of our conversation on the topic. Let's go Flyers, and let's get recycling to be as dominant here as the Bullies themselves!



About this blog
Earth to Philly is a weblog focusing on earth-conscious technology, trends and ideas, from a Daily News perspective. We look at the "green" aspects of your home, business, food, transportation, style, policy, gadgets and artwork. If you have a Philly-related story, Click here to let us know about it!

The experts at Philadelphia's Energy Coordinating Agency answer your energy questions in our regular feature Stay Warm, Stay Green. Send in your question or questions to energy@phillynews.com.


Look for Jenice Armstrong to supply tips on green living as well as occasional columns on the subject of Green. She also blogs at Hey Jen.


Becky Batcha stays tuned for the here-and-now practical side of conservation, alternative energy, organic foods, etc. - stuff you can do at home now. Plus odds and ends.


Laurie Conrad recycles from her ever-growing e-mailbag to pass along the latest travel deals, fashion statements, household strategies, gadgets, cool local events and other nuggets of interest to those who appreciate a clean, green world.


Vance Lehmkuhl looks at topics like eco-conscious eating, public transportation and fuel-efficient driving from his perspective as a vegetarian, a daily SEPTA bus rider and a hybrid driver, as well as noting the occasional wacky trend or product. Contact Vance with your 'green' news.


Ronnie Polaneczky sees the green movement through the eyes of her 12-year-old daughter, who calls her on every scrap of paper or glass bottle that Ronnie neglects to toss into the house recycling bins. Ronnie will blog about new or unexpected ways to go green. She also blogs at So, What Happened Was...


Sandra Shea and the DN editorial board opine on any green-related legislation or policy. And we'll pass along some of the opeds on the subject that people send us.


Jonathan Takiff will be blogging mainly about consumer electronics - those things that we love to use and that suck too much energy. He'll spotlight green-conscious gizmos made in a responsible fashion, both in terms of materials used and the energy it takes to run them.


Signe Wilkinson draws the comic strip Family Tree, which follows the Tree family as they try to live green in the face of nattering neighbors, plastic-wrapped consumer products, and the primal teenage urge to spend vast quantities of money on hair care products of dubious organic quality.


In addition to these updates from our newsroom bloggers, watch for an occasional feature, Dumpster Diver Dispatches, from Philadelphia's original "green" community of artists, the Dumpster Divers. You'll learn about creative ways to reuse and recycle while you reduce, and about the artists who are making little masterpieces from what others throw out.

  • Dispatch #1: Margaret Giancola's rugs from plastic bags
  • Dispatch #2: Dumpster Divers in City Hall (Art in City Hall series)
  • Dispatch #3: Wild wood, New Jersey
  • Dispatch #4: Dumpster Divers award winners announced
  • Dispatch #5: From sweaters to colorful cuddling
  • Dispatch #6: Green artists retake South Street Sunday
  • Dispatch #7: Isaiah Zagar: He's a Magic (Gardens) Man





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