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!