Philadelphia is known for many things, such as its eclectic and tight-knit neighborhoods, kids splashing in Love Park’s fountain, cookouts in Fairmount Park, and, most recently, its historic curbside recycling diversion rates.
No, you didn’t read that wrong.
On November 13, Philadelphians converged on City Hall’s Dilworth Park for an outdoor celebration, media event, and information fair as the city recognized America Recycles Day. During the event, the Philadelphia Streets Department’s Recycling Office announced that 128,000 tons of recycled materials were collected through the city’s curbside recycling program, buildings, and public spaces in fiscal year 2014. That number is impressive, but even more so is that the total tonnage represents a 155 percent increase in recycling since 2008.
The event helped emphasize that we have to keep up the momentum and recycle smarter – on the job, on the street, and at play. Event attendees learned about recycling and waste-reduction efforts, and how the city can improve its recycling habits, from these participating organizations:
- Philadelphia Streets Department
- Philadelphia Recycling Office
- United States Environmental Protection Agency
- Mayor’s Office of Sustainability
- Keep America Beautiful
- Keep Philadelphia Beautiful
- ReCommunity Recycling
This event is LevLane’s most recent endeavor in recognizing the important contributions of the citizens of Philadelphia who are responsible for this historic milestone. Working with the Streets Department and its Recycling Office since 2007, LevLane’s latest iteration I’m Behind Recycling is a media campaign that shows the Philadelphians who are leading the charge by recycling at home.
Additionally, LevLane developed Facebook and Twitter pages for the Philadelphia’s Recycling Office to engage people in real time – to keep them up to date with the latest information and statistics, and to make answering their questions as quick and easy as possible. By sharing articles, highlighting recycling events, and sharing expert commentary, these pages help establish the city as a knowledgeable resource, leader and advocate for recycling.
Phase two of the I’m Behind Recycling campaign serves as a refresher course on what is and isn’t recyclable. We’re so eager that we’re recycling items like plastic bags, tissues, greasy pizza boxes, and light bulbs, among other things, which can hinder the recycling process, damage machinery, and put sanitation workers at risk of injury. Philadelphians are doing a great job of recycling, but the bottom line is this: we need to know the ins and the outs.
We’ve been behind recycling for a long time, and with our collective efforts and an understanding of what’s recyclable, it won’t be long before Philadelphia achieves Mayor Nutter’s goal of becoming the Greenest City in America.