Recycle-full-cycle in
Philadelphia
Nerd Nite Philadelphia
Presented By: Phil Bresee, City of Philadelphia Recycling
Direct...
Where Does our Garbage Go (U.S.)?
• Solid waste, or “MSW” =
Typical discards from
households & businesses;
does not includ...
Where Does our Garbage Go (Philadelphia)?
• 2.7 million tons + of solid
waste generated in 2012.
– Residential = 25%
– Com...
Solid Waste Management Trends in Philadelphia
Philadelphia MSW 2007-2012
3,500,000

3,000,000

Tons Per Year

2,500,000
2,...
How Should We Manage our Solid Waste?
Source Reduction

Reuse

Recycling

Least
Preferred

Disposal
w/energy
recovery
Disp...
Environmental Benefits of Recycling
• Greenhouse gases (GHG)
are emitted during product
life-cycles, which include
extract...
Link Between Solid Waste & GHG Gas Emissions
Infrastruct
ure
1%

Prov. of
Goods
29%

Other
Transport
9%

Local
Transport
1...
Economic Benefits of Recycling
• About 2% of $12.36 trillion U.S.
GDP in 2007
• Labor intensive & creates jobs at
10/1 rat...
Not Recycling = Throwing Money Away

Material

Average Market
Tons Disposed in Value Per Ton
U.S.
(2012)

=

Disposed Inco...
Key Recycling Requirements & Policy Goals
• PA Act 101 (1988):
– Mandatory recycling for
municipalities with more than
5,0...
Recycling in Philadelphia: Vintage 1990’s to mid
2000’s
• Program much-maligned…
• Funding support & staffing
issues.
• Re...
Recycling Revitalization Milestones in
Philadelphia
Tons per-year of Residential Recyclables 2003-2012

140,000

Cartons a...
Curbside Recycling Program
• One of the 1st curbside recycling
programs in U.S. (c. 1986).
• 525,000 households serviced b...
Recycling Rewards Program
• Philadelphia original
Recyclebank pilot (2006).
• Program became City-wide
2010.
• ~190,000 ho...
Where do Recyclables Go?
• Recyclables delivered to Materials Recovery Facility (a.k.a. MRF,
pronounced “murph”).
• Recycl...
Comparative Curbside Recycling Rates (metals,
plastics, glass, and paper only)*
Austin

Philadelphia
Boston
Atlanta, GA
Mi...
Other Initiatives & Programs
• Public space recycling
opportunities (920 Big-Belly
sites).
• Recycling drop-off centers at...
Commercial & Institutional Recycling

Graphic courtesy of Keep America Beautiful

• Commercial & institutional MSW stream ...
Future Recycling Initiatives & Challenges
• Waste stream is changing with less
paper, more plastic, less glass, etc.
• Cit...
Future Recycling Initiatives & Challenges
Streets
Dept.

Allied
Agencies
(MOS,
PWD)
State &
National
(PROP, US
Recycling
C...
Conclusions…
 Recycling is a demonstrated
environmental protection success
story with environmental and
economic benefits...
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Nerd nite philly recycling pbresee sept 2013 version 2

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Nerd nite philly recycling pbresee sept 2013 version 2

  1. 1. Recycle-full-cycle in Philadelphia Nerd Nite Philadelphia Presented By: Phil Bresee, City of Philadelphia Recycling Director September 18th, 2013
  2. 2. Where Does our Garbage Go (U.S.)? • Solid waste, or “MSW” = Typical discards from households & businesses; does not include mining wastes, industrial wastes, etc. • U.S. generated 250 million tons in 2011 according to U.S. EPA (~400 million counting construction & demolition debris). • MSW generation tracks closely with economic trends and GDP. Solid Waste Management in the U.S. 2011 (in tons and percentages) WTE 29,000,000 12% Recycled 87,000,000 34% Landfilled 134,000,000 54% Sources: US EPA
  3. 3. Where Does our Garbage Go (Philadelphia)? • 2.7 million tons + of solid waste generated in 2012. – Residential = 25% – Commercial/Institutional = 75% • ~50% of all (residential + commercial) solid waste recycled in 2012. Landfilled 724,010 27% Recycled 1,364,255 50% WTE 640,743 23%
  4. 4. Solid Waste Management Trends in Philadelphia Philadelphia MSW 2007-2012 3,500,000 3,000,000 Tons Per Year 2,500,000 2,000,000 1,500,000 1,000,000 500,000 - 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Recycled & Composted 1,221,029 1,025,394 1,175,842 1,493,955 1,396,987 1,364,255 Disposed 1,964,247 1,771,033 1,495,412 1,437,419 1,443,037 1,351,800
  5. 5. How Should We Manage our Solid Waste? Source Reduction Reuse Recycling Least Preferred Disposal w/energy recovery Disposal Most Preferred • US EPA developed solid waste management hierarchy in late 1980s. • Source, or waste reduction means minimizing or not creating waste in the first place. • Recycling is preferred way to manage materials.
  6. 6. Environmental Benefits of Recycling • Greenhouse gases (GHG) are emitted during product life-cycles, which include extraction, manufacturing, usage, & disposal. • Recycling & waste reduction are effective tools for reducing GHG emissions from: – Raw materials extraction – Energy consumption during manufacturing – Reducing methane emissions from landfills Graphic courtesy of US EPA
  7. 7. Link Between Solid Waste & GHG Gas Emissions Infrastruct ure 1% Prov. of Goods 29% Other Transport 9% Local Transport 15% Building HVAC & Lighting 25% Calculation sources: U.S. EPA 42% of GHG for “stuff” Prov. of Food 13% Appliances /Devices 8% • Traditional “sectorbased” calculations understate impact of waste. • “Systems-based”, as shown, takes purpose of GHG emissions into consideration.
  8. 8. Economic Benefits of Recycling • About 2% of $12.36 trillion U.S. GDP in 2007 • Labor intensive & creates jobs at 10/1 ratio vs. disposal. • Multiplier impact with economic activity created at each stage. • 2008 five-state (PA, NY, MA, ME, DE) economic study: – 11,738 recycling or recycling-reliant establishments (3,803 in PA) – Workforce of 100,500; payroll of $4.2 billion (52,316 & $2.1 billion in PA) – $35 billion in gross receipts ($20.5 billion in PA)
  9. 9. Not Recycling = Throwing Money Away Material Average Market Tons Disposed in Value Per Ton U.S. (2012) = Disposed Income Newspaper 2,766,400 $ 104 = $ 287,705,600 Cardboard 4,755,000 $ 132 = $ 627,660,000 PET Plastics 1,895,700 $ 600 = $ 1,137,420,000 HDPE Plastics 3,311,000 $ 500 = $ 1,655,500,000 665,000 $ 1,200 = $ Aluminum Cans 798,000,000
  10. 10. Key Recycling Requirements & Policy Goals • PA Act 101 (1988): – Mandatory recycling for municipalities with more than 5,000 persons. – Includes commercial recycling requirements. – Established 35% recycling goal. • City ordinance requirements (10-700) includes commercial recycling (1994). • Greenworks goals including 25% residential diversion rate and 70% landfill diversion rate.
  11. 11. Recycling in Philadelphia: Vintage 1990’s to mid 2000’s • Program much-maligned… • Funding support & staffing issues. • Recycling coordinator turnover. • Every-other week pickup, limited materials. • Less than 40,000 tons per year from curbside program. • Negative perceptions: – Too much trouble – Unclear what was recyclable – Fines most effective motivator 10 Popular 8 6 4 2 0 -2 -4 -6 -8 Unpopular -10
  12. 12. Recycling Revitalization Milestones in Philadelphia Tons per-year of Residential Recyclables 2003-2012 140,000 Cartons added… City-wide singlestream 120,000 100,000 #3-7 plastics Citywide single-stream 80,000 Mayor Nutter elected Recyclebank goes citywide Plastics & OCC 60,000 Weekly pickup 40,000 Recyclebank pilot… 20,000 Single-stream phase-in 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
  13. 13. Curbside Recycling Program • One of the 1st curbside recycling programs in U.S. (c. 1986). • 525,000 households serviced by Streets Dept. • 120,000+ tons for 2012; ~460 lbs. per HH annual yield. • Recyclables accepted include: – – – – – – Mixed paper & cardboard Metal food & beverage cans Plastics #1-7 Glass bottles and jars Aseptic cartons Seasonal yard waste collection • Fiscal benefits to city (FY 2013): – $3.2 million in revenues – $7 million in avoided disposal fees Photo courtesy of Peter Tobia
  14. 14. Recycling Rewards Program • Philadelphia original Recyclebank pilot (2006). • Program became City-wide 2010. • ~190,000 households have signed up for the program. • Outreach, events, and overall program visibility are key elements: – 2012 summer sweepstakes – Recycling bin distribution events – America Recycles Day – Green Schools Project – U.S. Conference of Mayors Award
  15. 15. Where do Recyclables Go? • Recyclables delivered to Materials Recovery Facility (a.k.a. MRF, pronounced “murph”). • Recyclables processed using screens, trommels, optical sorting, eddy currents, etc. • Speed & angles of processing lines calibrated. • FY 2013 fiscal benefits = $30 per ton revenue vs. paying $58.11 per ton to dispose of trash. Photos courtesy of Resource Recycling Magazine and Waste Management, Inc.
  16. 16. Comparative Curbside Recycling Rates (metals, plastics, glass, and paper only)* Austin Philadelphia Boston Atlanta, GA Minneapolis San Diego New York Dallas Baltimore San Antonio Denver Phoenix Fort Worth Miami-Dade County Washington, DC Chicago 0.0% 5.0% 10.0% 15.0% 20.0% 25.0% 30.0% *Sources are varied and include city performance measure reports, departmental program reports, or operating budget documents from 2012 or 2013.
  17. 17. Other Initiatives & Programs • Public space recycling opportunities (920 Big-Belly sites). • Recycling drop-off centers at sanitation yards accept other materials: – Electronics – Household Hazardous Waste – Styrofoam • Insinkerator food waste project • Public event recycling: – 87% recycling/composting rate at 2012 Philadelphia Marathon
  18. 18. Commercial & Institutional Recycling Graphic courtesy of Keep America Beautiful • Commercial & institutional MSW stream = 2 million tons (served by private haulers). • Recycling mandated since 1994. • 50% + commercial recycling rate. • Small & medium sized businesses need more tools to help ensure compliance and achieve cost efficiencies. • Paradigm shift needed in way commercial solid waste services are provided (allow for rightsizing). • Considerable private/institutional innovation underway: – C&D recycling – Organics & food waste recycling
  19. 19. Future Recycling Initiatives & Challenges • Waste stream is changing with less paper, more plastic, less glass, etc. • City needs to consider additional materials to push residential diversion rates higher: 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% – Household metals e.g. pots, pans, etc.? – Additional plastics? – Textiles? – Organics? 2012 2015 2025 2030 Residential Recycling % Commercial & Institutional Recycling % Diversion from Landfill % • Increase use of drop-off center network. • Examine options to increase recycling in multifamily communities.
  20. 20. Future Recycling Initiatives & Challenges Streets Dept. Allied Agencies (MOS, PWD) State & National (PROP, US Recycling Conf.) SWRAC Recycling & Waste Reduction Goals Environmental Organizations Civic & Neighbors Assoc. Regulated Businesses Business organizations (Corridors, Chamber, etc.) • Solid Waste Management Plan rewrite. • Explore partnerships with allied agencies, school district. • Continue to leverage and build public-private partnerships. • Expand commercial recycling support. • Increase public space recycling. • Recycling program “rebrand” to link all opportunities.
  21. 21. Conclusions…  Recycling is a demonstrated environmental protection success story with environmental and economic benefits.  Is a “low-hanging fruit” for cities and counties to use to help reduce their carbon footprints.  Recycling allows for hands-on and visible opportunity for citizens and businesses to help their environment.  Recycling can be a “gateway” to other positive environmental behaviors.

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