Mayor Nutter Launches Coolest Block Contest

Winning block to receive energy-saving “cool roof” and energy-efficient products thanks to the City, the Energy Coordinating Agency and The Dow Chemical Company

Philadelphia, February 17, 2010

Organized under the auspices of The Energy Coordinating Agency of Philadelphia (ECA) and the City of Philadelphia, with product and technology contributions from The Dow Chemical Company and the financial support of The Dow Chemical Company Foundation, the contest invites row home owners to enter to win energy-saving cool roof, air sealing and insulation upgrades for their entire block.

“Our Greenworks Philadelphia goal is to retrofit 15 percent of the city’s row home roofs, and the ‘Coolest Block’ contest is jumpstarting this effort,” said Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “But changing the roof is only part of the package. Dow, a co-sponsor in this initiative, has taken a truly comprehensive approach. The energy-saving cool roof is based on Dow’s technology, and the Company will also provide insulation and air-leak prevention upgrades to the homes on the winning block – truly maximizing the energy-saving impact. I encourage all Philadelphians to get involved in this contest that will save energy, and save you money!”

“Row homes have charm and character, and have long been a unique architectural feature of the city,” said Liz Robinson, executive director, ECA, “but most were built without the advantage of modern building science or materials. The initiative to make them more energy-efficient, and in effect ‘greener,’ can help to improve the quality of life for the residents while saving them money on heating and cooling bills.”

How Cool Roofs Work

Traditional black asphalt roofs soak up the sun’s heat and allow its transfer between the exterior and the interior of the house. White cool roofs, on the other hand, bounce off solar energy to prevent it from being absorbed into the roof and house in the summer. Consequently, they reduce the amount of energy needed to cool the living space and bring the cost of cooling a home down by as much as 20 percent.

The benefits of cool roofs, however, do not end inside the house. The city environment benefits as well, as cool roofs are a proven way to combat urban heat island effect. The roof’s exterior is 50 – 80 degrees cooler on hot summer days, helping to lower high temperatures and improve air quality. The urban heat island phenomenon, aggravated by the large expanses of asphalt and black top, combined with relatively little vegetation or green space, can lead to heat-related illnesses during heat waves.

The Impact of Insulation and Air Sealing

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, proper insulation and air sealing of the home can reduce heating and cooling costs by as much as 30%. Air infiltration – which often occurs between walls and floors, around windows and doors, and through other gaps and cracks – can account for as much as 40% of heat loss in homes (source U.S. DOE). One of the best ways to insulate and air seal a row home is to use insulating foam sealants, which expand on contact to help bridge these openings, keeping heat outside during the summer and inside during the winter.

“We are proud to be able to help the Philadelphia neighborhoods become more energy-efficient and comfortable,” said Jerome Peribere, president and CEO, Dow Advanced Materials, which is headquartered in Philadelphia. “Energy efficiency is high on our list of priorities, both in how we run our business and in how our products can improve it for others. Seeing how Dow makes a difference through its science and quality of its materials is extremely gratifying for us.”

Competing for the “Coolest Block”

Contest entrants will be judged on a range of criteria, but blocks with the highest resident participation have the best chance of winning. Any Philadelphia row home resident is eligible to enter, but must submit a group entry through one “block coordinator.” The coordinator may be self-selected or may be one of the city’s “block captains” who volunteer to organize block activities on a regular basis. Entrants must also submit a brief profile of their neighborhood and the future they envision for it.

Along with a cool roof, the winning block will receive:

A whole home energy audit – from basement to rooftop – that will identify problem areas where air leakage and poor insulation are robbing homes of precious energy and provide an assessment of where insulation and air sealing products would help improve the home’s overall energy efficiency.

Installation of Dow’s sealants and insulation in the participating contestants’ residential homes.

Entries will be reviewed by a panel of judges that includes representatives from local media, environmental organizations, and the building industry. The deadline for entry is April 5, 2010. The winning block will be announced by May 10, 2010. In June, the winning block will receive a block party to celebrate.

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Philadelphia Awarded $17M in Recovery Funds to Fill Critical Gaps in Bike Trail Network

Funding Part of Bi-State Application that Will also Fund Trails in Camden, NJ

Philadelphia, February 17, 2010 –

The regional application for $36 million was submitted by the City with Delaware County, Montgomery County, Chester County, Schuylkill County, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Coopers Ferry Development Cooperation (Camden County, New Jersey). Camden County will receive $5.8 million through the program. At this time projects in the other counties have not been funded.

Mayor Nutter applauded the work of the team that prepared the application, “This program stands out nationally for its multi-state, multi-jurisdiction approach to meet the active transportation needs of our region. The recovery is not over yet and this project will create jobs for engineers, designers, and construction workers.” The Mayor remains committed to the completion of a regional trail network, “I pledged that the City will support Delaware County, Montgomery County, Chester County and Schuylkill County as they pursue state and federal funding to complete the regional trial network.”

Rina Cutler, Deputy Mayor for Transportation and Utilities noted the far reaching transportation and health impacts of the project, “This award allows us to fill-in critical gaps in the City’s bike trail network. When these gaps are filled I expect it to be easier than ever before to commute by bike or enjoy a bike ride with family and friends. A more complete bike trail network makes it easier to have an active lifestyle, which can address some of our biggest health challenges including obesity, diabetes, depression and heart disease.”

“This bike and pedestrian path project is welcoming news not only for the economic impact it will have for Camden, Philadelphia, and the surrounding region, but also for the positive effect it will have on our environment,” Mayor Dana L. Redd said. “The approval of this project is yet another example that emphasizes Camden’s revitalization efforts are moving forward. I look forward to continue working with U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Frank Lautenberg and our entire congressional delegation and President Obama’s administration to take full advantage of exciting opportunities that will help transform Camden and the surrounding area into a prosperous economic region.”

“Camden County is very excited about this $5.8 million federal grant that supports our greenways initiative to connect Camden County with downtown Philadelphia through active transportation—walking and biking,” said Camden County Freeholder Jeffrey Nash. “By the completion of this greenways path in 2012, residents will be able to walk or bike from Cooper River Park through Camden and across the Ben Franklin Bridge into Philadelphia.”.

The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Environmental Council helped prepare the application.

“This grant is a giant leap forward in connecting Philadelphia’s urban center, outlying neighborhoods and suburban communities via a sustainable and active transportation system,” said Sarah Clark Stuart, Campaign Director at the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. “We couldn’t be more thrilled that the Obama Administration recognized Philadelphia for laying the foundation of a truly connected multi-modal transportation system between 1970 and 2010. This funding allows us to take that system to the next level so that it can be enjoyed and used by larger and more diverse sector of the region’s population.”

Patrick Starr, Senior Vice President of PEC said job access and recreational opportunities are vital to the revitalization of communities, “Filling in the regional trail gaps in Philadelphia and Camden as the hubs of the system along the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers is a game changer.”

“This is an investment in providing a better, greener future for our kids,” said Spencer Finch, Director of Sustainable Communities for the Pennsylvania Environmental Council. “Take a look at Philadelphia’s existing trails and riverfronts and you’ll see families and friends having a great time biking, fishing, and commuting to work. These new trails will extend those opportunities to even more people in the region.”

Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced today that the City of Philadelphia received $17.2 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to fill critical gaps in the City’s bicycle and pedestrian trail network. The dollars were awarded to the City through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) highly competitive Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Discretionary Grants Program. The grant program was designed to spur a national competition for innovative, multi-modal and multi-jurisdictional transportation projects that promise significant economic and environmental benefits to an entire metropolitan area, region or the nation. DOT received $56.5 billion dollars worth of applications, for just $1.5 billion in grants.

Residents of North Philadelphia, Northern Liberties, Fairmount, and Fishtown start earning Philadelphia Recycling Rewards, More Neighborhoods Coming Each Month

Recycling Rewards Program Benefits Residents, Stimulates Local Businesses and Saves Taxpayers

Philadelphia – Thursday, February 4, 2010 – At the Fresh Grocer, a rewards partner in historic Sullivan Progress Plaza, Mayor Michael A. Nutter officially marked the first week of Recycling Rewards collections in the Art Museum area, Fairmount, Brewerytown, parts of North Philadelphia, Northern Liberties, Kensington, Fishtown and Port Richmond and encouraged all city residents to sign up for the program.  Philadelphia Recycling Rewards will be rolled-out monthly over six months based on sanitation service areas with the entire City receiving service by July.  Philadelphia Recycling Rewards is a partnership between the City of Philadelphia, the Streets Department and RecycleBank.  The program allows residents with City provided recycling collection to earn points that are redeemed through RecycleBank for groceries, gift cards, merchandise and entertainment at hundreds of participating local and national merchants.  Philadelphia is proud to be the largest City in the United States to reward its residents for their recycling efforts.

“I am thrilled to bring Recycling Rewards, a partnership with Philadelphia’s own RecycleBank, to Philadelphia. Recycling has always paid off in several ways, but never before so directly,” said Mayor Nutter.  “Recycling has always saved the environment through diverting refuse from the land fills, saved the City money by paying less in landfill fees, and now it will save residents money by allowing them to use their rewards at area businesses.  With the opportunity to get rewarded, I expect every Philadelphian to join their neighbors in recycling.”

Residents in Philadelphia can earn hundreds of dollars worth of rewards for recycling each year.  They can redeem their rewards at many of local businesses including: Fresh Grocer, ACME, select Shop Rite Locations, Rite Aid, CVS/pharmacy, Rita’s Water Ice, Las Cazuelas, Reading Terminal Market, Second Street Pizza, London Grill, and hundreds more.  Major retailers and national brands such as Coca-Cola, Kraft, Seventh Generation, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Ruby Tuesday and Bed, Bath & Beyond also participate. Philadelphians will also have an option to donate their Recycling Rewards to environmental initiatives at local schools through the RecycleBank Green Schools Program.

Philadelphia Recycling Rewards is anticipated to bring the City’s recycling diversion rate– the amount of recyclable materials that are diverted away from landfills—to record levels.   Every ton of waste diverted from landfills currently saves the city about $70.  The program is a “pay for performance” contract and shares the savings for additional tons of recycling collected above and beyond current levels. This means RecycleBank only gets paid when the City increases recycling and reduces trash.

“Philadelphia took the initiative in 2005 to be the very first city to pilot our service and since then we have grown to service millions of people across 25 states and the UK. We are proud and excited to have the opportunity to continue to service Philadelphia.” said Ron Gonen, CEO and co-founder of RecycleBank. “We look forward to helping the City of Philadelphia become a model of urban environmental management, reaching and surpassing their Greenworks Philadelphia Goals.”

“We’re delighted to be part of a local environmental program that changes behavior,” said Patrick J. Burns, President and CEO of Fresh Grocer. “At The Fresh Grocer, we are dedicated to operating our stores with an ongoing commitment to the environment.  Partnering with RecycleBank and rewarding our customers for recycling certainly aligns with our mission.”

Clarena I. W. Tolson, Streets Commissioner stated, “This program not only makes the City greener by increasing recycling rates and saving the City from costly landfill fees; it puts some green back into the pockets of our local residents by giving them points redeemable at local businesses.”

The Mayor has set ambitious goals with Greenworks Philadelphia, which has recycling goals including a 20 percent diversion rate by 2011 and 25 percent by 2015.  Philadelphia Recycling Rewards powered by RecycleBank will help the City achieve and hopefully exceed those goals.

The Philadelphia Recycling Rewards roll-out schedule is as follows:

February 2010: North Philadelphia
March 2010: Lower Northeast, Frankford and Logan Sections
April 2010: West and Southwest Philadelphia
May 2010: Center City and South Philadelphia
June 2010: Northeast Philadelphia
July 2010: Northwest Philadelphia

For more information about Philadelphia Recycling Rewards Program, and to sign-up for a rewards account, please visit http://www.PhillyRecyclingPAYS.com or call the Philadelphia Recycling Rewards Customer Affairs Unit at 1-888-769-7960.

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About RecycleBank
RecycleBank® motivates people to recycle and rewards consumers for taking greener actions with points that can be redeemed from participating local and national business partners. Through collaboration and innovation, RecycleBank is helping to create a culture that encourages people to take simple steps towards greener lifestyles. With new products and services like residential recycling, product reuse, expanded e-waste recycling, responsible disposal or simply focusing on using what already exists in the world today, we believe that making greener choices shouldn’t feel at all like a trade off. It should be a trade up, and so RecycleBank rewards you every step of the way.  RecycleBank currently provides service to over one million people across the U.S. and the U.K. and has been recognized with a number of business and environmental awards, including being named as a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum and as a Champion of the Earth by the United Nations Environmental Programme. RecycleBank is headquartered in New York City.  For more information, visit http://www.RecycleBank.com.

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How to sign-up and participate in Philadelphia’s Recycling Reward Program:

City of Philadelphia residents can sign-up for and begin participating in Philadelphia Recycling Rewards through a few easy steps:

Visit http://www.PhillyRecyclingPAYS.com online and click on “Get Started Now”. Individuals will complete the simple registration form to initiate a free Philadelphia Recycling Rewards household account. Residents that would prefer to sign-up over the telephone will call 1-888-769-7960 and speak to a customer service representative.

The Philadelphia Recycling Rewards stickers will be mailed to each participating residence starting in January 2010. The sticker can be recognized by recycling trucks and record if a household recycled that week. The sticker should be placed on the primary container that is used to put out recyclable materials.

When the program begins in a sanitation district, technology on the recycling truck will read that recyclable materials are being collected. Residents participating in the program will receive reward points  based upon their sanitation areas recycling  diversion rate. Bonus points will also be given for neighborhoods that significantly reduce the amount of trash that goes to the landfill.

To redeem, residents will log onto their account at http://www.PhillyRecyclingPAYS.com to view their total Points and “shop” for the rewards that they want or can call 1-888-769-7960 and speak to a customer service representative. Online rewards will be emailed directly to residents while in store rewards will be mailed to their home within seven business days.