Philadelphia Streets Department and Parks & Recreation Launch Pilot Recycling Program in Select Parks & Recreation Centers in Northwest Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA, PA, April 21, 2012- Today, the Philadelphia Streets Department and Parks & Recreation launched a pilot program that expands recycling to outdoor spaces throughout parks and recreation center properties inNorthwest Philadelphia. The pilot program launched at an outdoor celebration atSimonRecreationCenter today. Recycling is already available inside recreation centers and now, the city has arranged for recycling receptacles and pickup in the outdoor areas of:


“This pilot recycling program which will take place at select Parks & Recreation Centers inNorthwest Philadelphiawill help us determine the best ways to expand our recycling program going forward,” said Deputy Mayor for Environmental and Community Resources Michael DiBerardinis. “Even in its current pilot phase, this program helps us support the Mayor’s goal to increase the amount of public facilities that recycle.”


The Streets Department and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation aim to roll-out the pilot program to other parks and recreation center properties in the next several years. 

Providing recycling capabilities in parks and on recreation center properties will help divert more recyclable materials from they city’s waste stream. The city earns $67 for each ton of materials it recycles and this money is added to the city’s General Fund which supports essential services such as the Fire and Police Departments and libraries.Philadelphia’s recycling diversion rate‐ the amount of materials diverted from the waste stream‐ currently stands at nearly 20 percent, reaching rates of over 25 percent in some neighborhoods of the city.


“InPhiladelphia, we love to recycle! We’re proud to partner with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation to provide recycling receptacles and pickup in parks and on recreation center properties in Northwest Philadelphia,” said Streets Commissioner Clarena I.W. “Providing this service will help our environment by diverting more recyclables from landfill, earn our city money and give our parks and recreation centers the opportunity to earn rewards points through the Philadelphia Recycling Program!”


All of the parks and recreation center properties participating in the pilot program will be registered with Philadelphia Recycling Rewards, a program that allows them to earn points that can be redeemed through Recyclebank for discounts or full-value gift cards

at hundreds of participating local and national merchants. Residents neighboring the participating parks and recreation centers will benefit from the pilot program as they stand to receive more rewards points and can recycle outside at their local park and recreation center. For more information about Philadelphia Recycling Rewards, please visit


For more information on the City ofPhiladelphia’s recycling programs, please visit the Streets Department’s website and social media pages at,,, and


Recycling in Philadelphia

  • • The City ofPhiladelphiaearns $67 for each ton of materials that it recycles. This money is added to the city’s General Fund, which supports essential services such as the Fire and Police Departments and libraries.
  • • Diversion rate is verging on 20 percent
  • • Diversion rate for fiscal year 2011 (July 2010‐June 2011) was about 19 percent, approximately a 15 percent increase over the prior year.
  • • Since July 2011 (the start of fiscal year 2012), tonnage is up about 10% above the prior year
  • • By October 2011, about 170,000 residential households had signed up for thePhiladelphiaRecycling Rewards program. Over 1.5 million points have been earned by residents.
  • • Overall diversion rate in the city has increased from roughly 7% in January 2008 to almost 20% in November 2011. The City has more than doubled its average monthly recycling tonnage since the beginning of 2008.






Philadelphia Streets Department Recognized for Innovative Practices

Philadelphia, April 18, 2012 – The City of Philadelphia Streets Department has been recognized for “innovative community and government initiatives” by the Corbett Administration for the implementation of BigBelly Solar compacting litter baskets and recycling containers. The baskets have saved the City a million dollars in annual costs by reducing the trash collection rate per trash can from an average 17 times per week to 2.5 times per week. The award was part of the 16th Annual Governor’s Awards for Local Government Excellence, which were presented on April 17th, 2012.

“I commend the Streets Department on the installation of BigBelly Solar litter baskets, which have been both an economic and sustainable benefit to Philadelphia,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “I congratulate Commissioner Clarena I.W. Tolson, Deputy Commissioner Carlton Williams and the rest of the department on this great recognition.”

Beginning in April of 2009, the Streets Department replaced litter baskets with nearly 900 BigBelly solar-powered compacting litter baskets and more than 400 public recycling containers. The new technology has allowed for a dramatic increase in collection efficiency. The recycling containers mark the first time that Philadelphia has on-street public recycling, keeping approximately 23.5 tons per month of recyclable materials out of the trash stream.

“The Streets Department is proud to be using this innovative technology and to embrace ideas like Big Belly, ideas that save money and natural resources,” said Streets Commissioner Clarena Tolson. “We would like to thank Governor Corbett and the Department of Community and Economic Development for recognizing our ongoing measures to support Mayor Nutter’s commitment to advancing recycling and sustainability. The use of Big Bellies allowed for the introduction of public space recycling to the City for the very first time. This is one more important step towards achieving the City’s sustainability goals.”

Since December 2009, the Streets Department has installed BigBelly units with recyclers outside of Center City. Most of these have been installed in 12 commercial corridors throughout Philadelphia. Funding for BigBelly Solar baskets has come from Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development, the City of Philadelphia Commerce Department, Cleaning and Streetscape project grants and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act-EECGB grants. # # #

Mayor Nutter Cuts Ribbon On Wastewater Geothermal Heating Project

Philadelphia, April 12, 2012 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter, the Philadelphia Water Department and Philadelphia-based NovaThermal Energy have partnered to be the first site in the United States to deploy a commercial scale geothermal system that provides building heat using domestic wastewater. Mayor Nutter, Novathermal Energy partners, City and U.S. Department of Energy officials and community partners held a ribbon-cutting and tour at the Southeast Water Pollution Control Plant where the project has been implemented.

“I am proud to say that Philadelphia is taking another groundbreaking step in becoming the greenest city in America,” said Mayor Nutter. “Partnering with a Philadelphia-based company and using innovative technology, we have achieved a win-win for energy efficiency and economic development. We will be able to save on costs and energy resources at a City facility while commercializing a technology that can be used in large commercial and industrial buildings throughout the country.”

The project demonstrates the City’s commitment to incubate new businesses, deploy clean energy technology as part of its Greenworks Philadelphia goals, be a leader in resource recovery and explore new markets for revenue.

“This project is another example of PWD’s commitment to diversify our energy portfolio as part of our pledge to be a sustainable and cost-conscious utility,” remarked Water Commissioner Howard Neukrug. “The development of technology that essentially recycles wastewater by extracting its energy for reuse is innovative and demonstrates PWD’s national leadership in resource recovery.”

Commercialization of this technology is designed to significantly reduce energy use in large commercial and industrial buildings throughout Philadelphia and the United States. This project is one example of the Department’s long-term plans to add resource recovery to its facilities environmental protection portfolio.

The City of Philadelphia incurred no costs or outlay of expenses for this project, made possible through funding provided by the City of Philadelphia’s Greenworks Pilot Energy Technology Grant program, which is supported by federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant funds from the U.S. Department of Energy. Ben Franklin Technology Partners of SE Pennsylvania additionally contributed with a grant to support measurement and verification technical assistance.

The project consists of a 1 million BTU/hr unit located in the building’s basement from which heat is directly accessed from the adjacent sewage channel. While the technology can be scaled to a much larger size, this project serves to prove the technology’s energy savings in the U.S. context. At the Southeast Plant, NovaThermal Energy will demonstrate its ability to provide heat at approximately 50% of current cost, realizing $216,000 of savings over 15 years.

About the Philadelphia Water Department
The Philadelphia Water Department serves the Greater Philadelphia region by providing integrated water, wastewater and storm water services. The Department’s mission is to plan for, operate and maintain both the infrastructure and the organization necessary to purvey high quality drinking water, to provide an adequate and reliable water supply for all household, commercial and community needs, and to sustain and enhance the region’s watersheds and quality of life by managing wastewater and stormwater effectively.

About NovaThermal Energy
NovaThermal Energy’s wastewater geothermal energy efficiency technology saves up to 60% in building heating and cooling costs. The system combines a water source heat pump with a patented filtration device to transfer heat energy directly from sewage, using wastewater flows as a heat source. NovaThermal taps into the existing municipal sewer infrastructure, eliminating the land area and cost of geothermal piping or borefields, making the system feasible and affordable for buildings with large energy load requirements.

NovaThermal Energy is a Philadelphia-headquartered company, bringing its proven energy efficiency technology to market in the United States. The company holds an exclusive license for this Chinese technology, and is the US patent holder for improvements to the system.

Mayor Nutter, EPA Administrator Jackson Sign Landmark Partnership Agreement

Philadelphia, April 10, 2012 – Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, joined by U.S. Representative Allyson Schwartz and city and federal officials, signed an agreement that represents a $2 billion investment in Philadelphia green infrastructure during an event at the Fairmount Water Works. Over the next 25 years, the Green City, Clean Waters partnership agreement will transform many of Philadelphia’s paved, non-porous surfaces to green areas to better manage potentially harmful rainwater runoff pollution. This unique federal-city partnership aims to ensure the success of the Green City, Clean Waters Plan and to present the plan as a national model for cities embracing green stormwater infrastructure. Green infrastructure investments make our communities cleaner, healthier, and more attractive places to live and work.

“Green City Clean Waters Plan is our proposal to revitalize our rivers and streams by managing stormwater in a way that provides multiple benefits. It will result in clean and beautiful waterways, a healthier environment and increased community value. The assistance of our public partners makes it the most cost effective investment of its kind in the country,” said Mayor Nutter. “Where other cities are challenged by very expensive commitments for tunnels, tanks and other gray infrastructure, we have worked with the state and the EPA to take this greener, more fiscally prudent approach that will realize multiple benefits.”

EPA will provide assistance to the City in identifying and promoting higher performing green infrastructure designs, convening technical expertise from around the country to advance green designs and support a Green Design Competition, and help remove barriers to innovation in the City’s Plan. EPA will also assist on research and technical assistance on monitoring the effectiveness and evaluating benefits of the program through cooperation on water quality monitoring and modeling work that the City has undertaken.

“The EPA is proud to be working in partnership to support green infrastructure advances that will lead to cleaner waters and a stronger economy for the city of Philadelphia. This city has earned a place as a national and global leader on sustainable innovation and clean water protection,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “The Green City, Clean Waters Partnership promises to lead the way for communities across the nation, which can use the lessons learned through this long-term project to protect their health, safeguard their waters and boost their economies.”

The City of Philadelphia is leading the development of green strategies to manage urban stormwater runoff – one of the 21st century’s greatest challenges to the health of our nation’s rivers and streams. Philadelphia’s Green City, Clean Waters Plan layers green technologies modeled on natural practices on top of the city’s 3,000 mile sewer network, Philadelphia’s 20th century investment in traditional “gray” infrastructure, to capture rainwater on the surface. Capturing rainwater prevents sewer overflows containing industrial and human waste from discharging to waterways during wet weather. It will transform streets, parking lots, schools, public spaces into urban landscapes that reduce sewer overflows to our waterways while enhancing our communities.

“The signing of this monumental agreement is a transformative step for urban environmental policy in the United States,” said Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz. “Philadelphia and the EPA’s forward-looking collaboration on storm water runoff will help strengthen economic development, protect our drinking water and should serve as a model for cities around the country.”

Green City Clean Waters is based upon an adaptive management approach that will identify and maximize green practices that achieve the most efficient and cost effective environmental goals for the City of Philadelphia.

The agreement can be found at

Zoning Code Commission Receives AIA President’s Award

Philadelphia, April 6, 2012 – This week, the American Institute of Architecture (AIA) Pennsylvania presented Deputy Mayor Alan Greenberger and Eva Gladstein, Deputy Director of the City Planning Commission and former Executive Director of the Zoning Code Commission, with the President’s Award on behalf of the Zoning Code Commission. This award is presented in recognition of special contributions or support of the profession, the business of architecture or the built environment in Pennsylvania. In December, Mayor Michael A. Nutter signed legislation that comprehensively rewrites and modernizes Philadelphia’s zoning code for the first time in fifty years.

“Deputy Mayor Greenberger and Eva Gladstein gave many hours and a tremendous amount of effort, creativity and enthusiasm to the zoning code reform, and I am delighted that they are being recognized for their work,” said Mayor Nutter. “AIA is a respected architecture organization, which advances sustainable, responsible planning in Philadelphia and has been a great partner in our efforts for the new Zoning Code, Philadelphia2035 and the Citizens Planning Institute. I’d like to thank them for recognizing this great work, which will positively impact Philadelphians for generations.”

John Claypool, Executive Director of AIA Philadelphia added, “AIA Philadelphia is proud to recognize Deputy Mayor Alan Greenberger, a former President of the Chapter, and Eva Gladstein, Deputy Director of the City Planning Commission on the receipt of this prestigious award for their work to create a new Zoning Code. Their open, professional and inspired work will serve the design and development of the City for many years.”

The Zoning Code codifies the City’s development regulations and sets expectations regarding land use. The new zoning code includes changes to the City’s development regulations and approval procedures such as:
• Making the zoning code more user-friendly;
• Reducing number of zoning classifications;
• Incorporating a civic design review process; and
• Establishing the role of citizens in the zoning approval process.