Monday, December 22, 2014

Green Birds: The Linc goes landfill-free

If you go to an Eagles game next season and enjoy a plastic-bottled beer during the game (I know, what are the odds?), that bottle could be part of a former Lincoln Financial Field tarp.

Green Birds: The Linc goes landfill-free

A Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) trash truck from Sustainable Waste Solutions, likely the first in the state to put this trend into operation.
A Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) trash truck from Sustainable Waste Solutions, likely the first in the state to put this trend into operation.

If you go to an Eagles game next season and enjoy a plastic-bottled beer during the game (I know, what are the odds?), that bottle could be part of a former Lincoln Financial Field tarp.

How so? Randy Hendricks, the CEO of Sustainable Waste Solutions, explains: "The Eagles organization has done a tremendous job of looking at everything they buy, and everything they do, for sustainability," and the go-green mindset extends beyond high-profile solar-panel and wind-turbine projects to the nitty-gritty of waste management. Hendricks says the team is on a quest to go "100% landfill-free."

That's where his company enters the picture: "They just had a full field tarp replaced. They were looking into how it could be gotten rid of in the least harmful way, you know, most efficiently - but we said hey, that's a plastic that we can ground up and recycle. That's going to become a beer bottle or something."

Hendricks's company, based in Souderton is handling landfill-free business contracts throughout southeastern Pennsylvania, and claims a statewide milestone in putting the first compressed natural gas (CNG) trash truck into operation.  “Putting the first CNG trash truck on the road in Pennsylvania allows SWS to expand upon its commitment to providing a sustainable waste handling alternative to the area’s green conscious companies,” Hendricks said in the company's press release.

In speaking with me, he conceded that it's possible someone in the far-western portion of the state has a CNG trash truck, but it seems pretty unlikely: "There are only 28 CNG fueling stations in Pennsylvania," he explained, "and most are privately owned. PECO allows other companies to use their fueling stations - we pay for the fuel, of course - and we're the only [waste-management company] fueling up there. That's why I'm pretty sure we'd know if someone else was doing this."

Natural gas, of course, has recently come under some scrutiny as a green fuel due to the industry's "fracking"-mania. But Hendricks asks us to compare it with how things are now with gasoline-powered trucks, given that petroleum extraction also has plentiful environmental issues: The CNG trucks boast "quieter operation, including an 80 to 90 percent lower decibel levelthan comparable diesel trucks; a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 25 to 30 percent; a reduction in carbon monoxide (CO) up to 80 percent; and a reduction in nitrogen oxide (NOx) up to 85 percent."

Sustainable Waste Solutions may set a trend in waste hauling and processing; at any rate, the company is cleaning up at various operations (they only do businesses, not residential) including several Whole Foods Market stores and Merck, always avoiding the landfill. "Organic waste goes to a composting facility in Wilmington," said Hendicks. "As for Merck - the stuff goes either to recycling or is burned to turn into energy."

He notes that another contract is with Lehigh University - "so we have been handling waste up there at the Eagles training camp." He's looking forward to dealing with the Linc and the Eagles in full-season mode.

So remember, while at the game, please be sure you don't forget to get one of those beers. After all, who knows? You might have a piece of the tarp! Not the same glory as a game ball, of course, but as close as most of us will ever get to the playing field.

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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