Philadelphia Now Recycling At Its Highest Rate Ever; City Opens New LEED-Certified Recycling Center To Boost Recycling Even More

Single-stream recycling has boosted Philadelphia's recycling efforts tremendously.

As we approach Earth Day, this Friday, April 22, Philadelphia is filled with exciting green news.

The latest piece: Philadelphia’s residential recycling rate has reached its highest ever rate, 19% — meaning Philadelphia residents are now diverting 19% of the city’s total refuse tonnage to be recycled.

This is a great achievement — Philadelphia’s recycling rate has almost tripled in just four years!

The increase in recycling is largely on account of the new single-stream recycling programs that Mayor Nutter has implemented in recent years. Single stream recycling allows Philadelphia residents to recycle all their recyclables — glass, plastic, aluminum, paper, cardboard, etc. — in a single container, making it much easier to recycle.

Also helping is the new Recycling Rewards program, which enables residents to earn points for gift cards to local retailers the more they recycle.

So now that recycling is both easy and incentivised, all the city needs to do is to make sure it has the capacity to handle all the extra recycling that is happening.

Enter the brand new, 60,000-square foot recycling center that officially opened last week in Northeast Philadelphia.

The new center is one of the most advanced single-stream technology plants in operation and can sort and process more than 20,000 tons of recyclable newspaper, cardboard, aluminum, glass and plastic each month.

A little icing on the cake: the new center received LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. It was built on a former brownfield site, the siding and roofing of the building contain more than 80% recycled content, and it employs advanced stormwater management systems, including a green roof on the office facility.

Check out video of the center’s opening below, in which Mayor Nutter speaks on the importance of recycling and other green efforts in Philadelphia.

Learn more about Recycling in Philadelphia here.

Waste Management opens new green facility in Northeast Philly [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Philadelphia Recycling Rewards [Official Site]


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  1. This is Awesome! Recently I saw some pieces on shows like CNN and the journal with Joan Lunden on PBS that were talking about issues and solutions for industrial recycling. Hopefully more city’s will find what Philly is doing attractive and learn from their lead.

  2. Wow! Philadelphia is really pushing the envelope here when it comes to recycling! That is phenomenal work Philly. I even know that private organizations are really trying hard when it comes to recycling. helps recycle old books and journals, which are donated by schools and colleges. Great work Mayor Nutter and hope we can keep this up and up it to 25% next year.

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