This past Tuesday, we were so pleased to co-host “Trash Talk: Recycling, Composting, and Disposing in Philly” with our friends at Young Involved Philadelphia (YIP). The event, part of YIP’s annual State of Young Philly series, featured Phil Bresee of the Philadelphia Streets Department, Tim Bennett of Bennett Compost, and Charles Raudenbush of Waste Management (and also a Keep Philadelphia Beautiful board member!). All three spoke about how the City is moving towards more sustainable waste disposal systems, and what we as individuals can do in our daily lives to make a difference.
Some of the most important tips shared that night from our speakers:
1. Recycling is mandatory in the City of Philadelphia! If your apartment building says it doesn’t recycle, reach out to the Streets Department.
2. Recycle mixed paper, glass, and plastics 1 through 7. Learn more here about all of the materials you can recycle in the City – and how to properly do so!
3. Your recyclables don’t need to be 100% clean – a little spaghetti sauce left in your jar is just fine! But don’t throw those plastic bags in with the rest of your recycling; there are stores that specifically collect plastic bags for proper recycling.
And, we loved this fact so much we can’t help but share it: Philadelphia took in $6.5 million in revenue and avoided $8 million in fees from recycling during the last fiscal year. Recycling pays! And it’s more labor intensive than throwing your waste in a landfill, which means green jobs.
After our official program, over eighty attendees visited a series of interactive stations featuring organizations from throughout the City all working to make Philadelphia more sustainable, including: Philadelphia Recycling Rewards, SWEEP, the Philadelphia More Beautiful Committee, Revolution Recovery, The Resource Exchange, Amtrak, PHS Young Friends, TTF Watershed, Philly Swap, and the Sustainable Business Network.
We know those who came out to talk trash with us learned a great deal about how to properly dispose of their trash each and every day – and had fun while doing so! Just check out the pictures (courtesy of Young Involved Philadelphia) for yourself! And if you’re on twitter, check out the hashtag #SOYPTrashTalk for more facts and pictures.