For the second consecutive year, Philadelphia has exceeded its Greenworks 70% waste diversion goal, with nearly all municipal solid waste diverted from landfills through waste to energy and recycling programs, according to the recently published Greenworks Philadelphia 2014 Progress Report.
The report, published by Mayor Michael A. Nutter and the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, highlights a range of successes, which included recycling half of all waste and another using another 23% for energy production.
The report outlined the status of work on 15 measureable targets in five topic areas: energy, environment, equity, economy, and engagement.
According to the report, five years into the six-year implementation timeline, work on 160 of the 164 initiatives is either complete or underway. In 2013, Philadelphia surpassed its goal for improved air quality for the first time since Greenworks was released and showed an 8% decrease in citywide greenhouse gas emissions since 2006.
To help achieve the 73% diversion rate, the report said that the Philadelphia Streets Department improved recycling rates in all waste streams, capturing more than 1.3 million tons (1.18 million tonnes) of recycling in 2012.
Construction and demolition (C&D) waste diversion reached a record 80% in 2012, with a total of 243,365 tons (221,000 tonnes) of C&D material kept out of landfills for reuse and recycling.
Residential recycling also reached an all-time high of 122,680 tons (111,000 tonnes), which puts the kerbside recycling rate at 21%. The report also noted that each ton of recycling collected not only saves space in the landfill, it also avoids costly disposal fees and generates revenue for the City.
The Philadelphia Streets Department supported a wide variety of citywide recycling and waste reduction efforts in the past year, distributing 60,000 recycling bins to residents and publishing the first Business Recycling Toolkit.
“With the leadership and collaborative work of City staff, community partners and elected officials, Philadelphia has seen gains in all five of the Greenworks target areas,” commented Mayor Nutter.
“The pace and scale of implementation continues to grow, demonstrating that support for sustainability efforts is only getting stronger. Our Administration will continue to work to reach our goal of becoming the greenest city in America,” he added.
The full Greenworks Philadelphia 2014 Progress Report can be found HERE.