Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Recycling More Than Ever: way to recycle, Philly!

Single stream recycling has increased Philadelphia's recycling rates by 46%. Our beautiful recycling trucks have collected 75,060 tons of household waste between June 2008 and June 2009. Philadelphians now recycle approximately 12.4% of their household garbage.

While this is exciting news, it's still too low. It's below the national average and is significantly lower than the 25% target rate established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the 1980s. In other words, although we've improved, we're still behind.

How can we continue to boost our recycling rates? Recycle bank pays citizens to recycle in the form of coupons and cash. Philadelphia has not joined this popular program. Fines, unpopular sources of revenue in this tight economy, are proven ways to increase participation. There is anecdotal evidence of stepped-up enforcement but the truth is that Licenses and Inspections inexplicably laid off enforcement agents to meet Mayor Nutter's budget.

While Philadelphia's recycling participation has improved, we still have miles to go. Recycle Bank and enforcement can help increase participation city-wide and should be used to expand participation. Keep up the great work and keep moving forward, Philly!

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