Mayor Nutter Issues Statement on Partnership with EPA

Philadelphia, May 31, 2012 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter issued the following statement regarding the leadership and partnership of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

“The Clean Water Act was a defining piece of American legislation that created a greener, more sustainable nation. Reflecting on the 40th Anniversary of this legislation, we are reminded how vital it is to protect our water sources now and for future generations.

“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, under the leadership of Administrator Lisa Jackson, has worked in partnership with the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on a state-of-the-art stormwater management system that will save billions of taxpayer dollars. The EPA signed an historic agreement allowing Philadelphia to implement Green City, Clean Waters, our city’s 25 year, $2 billion plan to invest in stormwater infrastructure. This plan creates affordable, green solutions that will uphold important quality standards set forth under the Clean Water Act.

“The EPA and Administrator Jackson have been stalwart partners with cities across the nation as we work to build a more competitive and more sustainable America. In the 40 years since the passage of the Clean Water Act, they continue to collaborate with cities and municipalities to create the green infrastructure that will be a foundation for our nation’s growth for decades to come.”

Advertisements

Mayor Nutter, Commissioner Tolson Announce First Round Winners Of Philadelphia Recycling Rewards Sweepsteaks

Philadelphia, May 30, 2012 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter and Streets Department Commissioner Clarena I.W. Tolson announced the first round of winners in the Philadelphia Recycling Rewards Sweepstakes powered by Recyclebank. Mayor Nutter presented prizes to two first prize winners, who each received 12 monthly SEPTA transit passes and five second prize winners, who each received one $100 Target gift card. Winners from the first round were randomly selected from entries received between Sunday, April 1 and Monday, April 30.

“We are happy to award prizes to the Sweepstakes winners for doing their part in improving our community through reducing waste and recycling more,” said Mayor Nutter. “By taking part in the Recycling Rewards Program powered by Recyclebank, Philadelphia residents are demonstrating their commitment to a more sustainable future.”

Residents can still get involved in the Sweepstakes, which will run until Saturday, June 30, 2012. Residents are automatically entered into the Sweepstakes by recycling more and completing simple “green” actions at http://www.PhillyRecyclingPAYS.com. Each action represents an individual entry into the Sweepstakes. The grand prize winner will receive free groceries for a year, a prize valued at $5,000.

“The Recycling Rewards Program is important to our city on many levels. I am pleased to see so many residents eager to recycle and earn points for doing so. Redeeming the points for coupons to a wide variety of stores in Philadelphia allows our citizens to spend locally. Our partnership with Recyclebank has helped our citizens become more ‘green’ in their efforts to make our city more sustainable,” said Commissioner Tolson.

The first prize winners are Joanna Cahill of Roxborough and Vereta Jordan of North Philadelphia. The second place winners are Charisse Snipe of Southwest Philadelphia, Lula McClaim of North Philadelphia, Lenore Branham of North Philadelphia, Beth Grandizio of South Philadelphia and Madeline Dombrowski of South Philadelphia.

“At Recyclebank, we are proud to partner with the City of Philadelphia and the Streets Department for the Recycling Rewards Sweepstakes to inspire the community to work toward a greener, healthier future,” said Denise Diorio McVeigh, Recyclebank Philadelphia account manager. “Over the past three years, Philadelphia’s partnership with Recyclebank has exemplified the collective impact that can be made when community members choose more sustainable lifestyles.”

Philadelphia Recycling Rewards, a partnership between the Streets Department and Recyclebank, 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. Philadelphia Recycling Rewards has helped to bring the City’s recycling diversion rate— the amount of recyclable materials that are diverted away from landfills—to record levels.

For more information about Philadelphia Recycling Rewards Program and to participate in the Sweepstakes, please visit http://www.PhillyRecyclingPAYS.com or call the Philadelphia Recycling Rewards Customer Affairs Unit at 1-888-769-7960.

ABOUT RECYCLEBANK
Recyclebank® helps create a more sustainable future by rewarding people for taking everyday green actions with discounts and deals from more than 3,000 local and national businesses. Through its online platform and partnerships with municipalities, haulers, small businesses and corporate brands, Recyclebank is empowering individuals to make a collective impact on the environment by increasing household recycling, reducing household energy usage and learning to live greener lives. Recognized as a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum, a Champion of the Earth by the United Nations Environment Programme and for Outstanding Excellence in Public/Private Partnerships from the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Recyclebank is headquartered in New York City. For more information, visit http://www.Recyclebank.com.

MAYOR NUTTER, STREETS DEPARTMENT LAUNCHES “CLEAN KITCHEN, GREEN COMMUNITY” PILOT PROGRAM

Philadelphia, May 24, 2012 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter, Streets Department Commissioner Clarena I.W. Tolson, InSinkErator officials and community leaders launched a new pilot program called “Clean Kitchen, Green Community” to assess how food waste disposers can help the City reach its sustainability goals. In addition to citywide campaign about the benefits of using a food waste disposer, residents along garbage collection routes in West Oak Lane and Point Breeze will participate in a targeted installation and education initiative to examine how much food waste can be diverted from landfills by using a disposer. The City is partnering with InSinkErator, the world’s leading manufacturer of food waste disposers, and community groups Ogontz Avenue Revitalization Corporation (OARC) in West Oak Lane and Diversified Community Services in Point Breeze on the publicity and installation campaigns. 

“Philadelphia is committed to becoming the greenest city in America, and this partnership with InSinkErator is an example of how the private and public sectors can work together to improve the City’s sustainability efforts and residents’ quality of life,” said Mayor Nutter. “We hope this pilot program will point us toward saving tax dollars and a better environment.” 

The targeted installation campaign will correspond with testing households’ waste reduction. The Streets Department will assess the volume and composition of waste generated before, during and after the pilot, evaluating reductions and changes that result from the targeted installation campaign. The City and InSinkErator are partnering with OARC and Diversified Community Services to provide 100 homeowners in each neighborhood with a free waste disposer and installation by a local, licensed plumber. OARC and Diversified Community Services will lead the effort to encourage and arrange the installation of disposers in homes without them and educate residents about how to use them effectively. 

“At the City of Philadelphia Streets Department, we continue to look for innovative and creative ways to help make our city greener, cleaner and more sustainable,” said Streets Commissioner Clarena I.W. Tolson. “The Clean Kitchen, Green Community pilot program will help us analyze how food waste disposers can divert more waste from landfill, save the City and taxpayers money. We also expect that food waste disposers will be an effective complement to residents’ recycling efforts as a disposer can make it easier for residents to recycle paper, bottles and cans.”   

Food waste constitutes roughly 10 percent of waste from homes in Philadelphia, which goes directly into landfills. Every ton diverted from landfill saves the City $68 in tipping fees. By diverting food waste, the City expects that food waste disposers can save money while not adding to homeowners’ utility costs. Food waste disposers use less than one percent of a household’s total water consumption and cost less than 50 cents per year in electricity to operate. They also reduce kitchen odors from spoiled food and can help reduce the amount rodents and insects around homes. 

Food waste can also be turned into renewable energy and fertilizer products after being processed by Philadelphia’s wastewater treatment plants. Once disposed, food waste is transported through underground sewer lines to the City’s advanced wastewater treatment plants. Methane generated from the anaerobic digestion of food waste at the plants can be converted into heat and electricity to power the plants; the solids that remain are processed into fertilizer pellets suitable for use on regional farms.  Putting food waste down the disposer also prevents the local trucking of heavy, soggy trash, and keeps it from ending up in landfills, where organic waste decomposes and produces methane, a greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide. 

“Food waste disposers take food waste out of trash trucks and put it into a wastewater system designed to convert the waste to beneficial biogas energy and fertilizer. This approach is sustainable and allows us to reduce household waste, create energy, and recycles the waste into biosolids pellets for beneficial farming uses,” said Water Commissioner Howard Neukrug. 

“InSinkErator is very excited to partner with the City of Philadelphia to help achieve Mayor Nutter’s Greenworks goals. Food waste disposers move food scraps out of trash trucks and landfills to the Water Department, where it’s converted into clean water, renewable energy and fertilizer products,” said Tim Ferry, President of InSinkErator. “We know disposers help make the kitchens and neighborhoods of Philadelphia cleaner and now they can help the City become ‘greener.’” 

For more information about the Clean Kitchen, Green Community pilot program, please visitwww.philadelphiastreets.com. For more information about InSinkErator, please visitwww.insinkerator.com/green. For more information about OARC, please visit www.ogontzave.org. For more information about Diversified Community Services, please visit http://dcsphila.org

The Philadelphia Energy Authority Will Hold a Public Hearing on Wednesday May 23rd

Philadelphia, May 11, 2012 – The Philadelphia Energy Authority (PEA) will hold a public hearing to garner input on the best ways to fulfill its mission of reducing energy consumption and expense by the City of Philadelphia, facilitating the development of renewable energy projects in the City, and promoting energy awareness in our community. The hearing is scheduled for 4 pm in City Council Chambers.

“The Philadelphia Energy Authority has an important role to play in advancing our Greenworks Philadelphia goals of reducing city government’s energy consumption by 30 percent and raising the entire city’s consumption of renewable energy by 20 percent,” Mayor Nutter said.

“I am pleased to welcome the Philadelphia Energy Authority to City Council Chambers. I look forward to the Authority engaging the public in a meaningful way regarding reducing the costs of operating our government, and educating residents, through energy conservation and alternative energy options,” Council President Clarke said.

“The Philadelphia Energy Authority looks forward to hearing from Philadelphia businesses and residents about how the Authority can advance energy conservation and alternative energy in Philadelphia,” PEA Chairman Christopher Lewis said.

Public testimony will be limited to 3-5 minutes per person in order to ensure all voices are heard. Persons interested in testifying may sign up on site; time will be distributed on a first come first served basis.

If you are interested in testifying, please indicate your interest by contacting Joseph Mondesire (josephmondesire@gmail.com, 215-285-1280), by the close of business May 18, 2012; submit your name, affiliation and contact information. ###

Additional Contact Information:
Philadelphia Energy Authority Chairman Lewis – 215-569-5793
Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities – 215-686-8158
Office of Council President Clarke – 215-686-2070

Mayor Nutter Announces Green 2015 Pilot Program to Green Schools and Recreation Centers

New public-private partnership envisions major expansion of public green space

Philadelphia, May 10, 2012– In a major step forward for the “greening” of public spaces in Philadelphia, Mayor Michael A. Nutter formally announced today that the City and a national conservation group will partner with the School District to green as many as 10 school yards and recreation centers starting this spring.

The new groundbreaking initiative marks the second phase of the City’s innovative Green 2015 Action Plan. It was announced at the William Dick Elementary School, which will partner with the adjacent Hank Gathers Recreation Center in North Philadelphia on a pilot project to significantly expand green space for public use. In addition to the School District, Green2015 partners include the Philadelphia Water Department, the Department of Parks and Recreation, national conservation non-profit The Trust for Public Land and the Mural Arts Program.

“This is an exciting collaboration for the City of Philadelphia,” said Mayor Nutter. “Working with our partners, we will be able to green places where our children play. Making Philadelphia the greenest city in America involves infrastructure changes and creating healthy, sustainable spaces. However, it is also about educating our children about the environment so that they are prepared to care for it in the future. I am confident these improved school yards and recreation centers will do all of the above.”

The partnership will initially focus on redesigning and redeveloping the William Dick Elementary Schoolyard, Hank Gathers Recreation Center and Collazo Park, with additional recreation centers and schoolyards to be announced in the coming months based on the success of the pilot. One major advantage of the partnership is that it allows the City and the School District to pool limited public resources to focus on areas where public schools and City recreation centers are located close to each other.

The partnership also leverages federally-mandated stormwater management funds, committed state funding through the Pennsylvania Department of Conversation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and private philanthropy raised by The Trust for Public Land from the William Penn Foundation, MetLife Foundation, National Recreation Foundation, and others. The TPS Foundation is also providing support to incorporate public art at various sites as part of the overall initiative.

The William Penn Foundation was one of the original supporters of the planning and public engagement effort to draft the Green2015 Action Plan and is now providing significant resources for the pilot project. “This program represents a triple bottom line for Philadelphia. It cuts down on paved surfaces, which helps to keep heavy rains from washing pollutants into our water supply,” said Janet Haas, M.D., the Board Chair of the William Penn Foundation. “It repurposes existing city property, putting assets we already own to better use. And it brings communities together in attractive public spaces around their schools and recreation centers. In a time of economic scarcity, that level of impact is no small feat.”

When fully implemented, the project envisions the greening of 10 school playgrounds and City recreation centers at a total cost of $9 million, about two-thirds of which would be met through combination of State, City, and School District sources. The Trust for Public Land is leading the effort to raise private funds to leverage public funding from the City and School District, and will also be establishing a stewardship fund to assist local organizations with maintenance and programming for each site.

“When we launched the Green2015 action plan last year, our goal was to chart a course for action that would make our city more equitable, livable, and competitive. Now we stand in partnership to make good on that goal through the greening and connecting of our community assets, parks and recreation centers and schoolyards,” said Michael DiBerardinis, Deputy Mayor, Environmental & Community Resources/Parks and Recreation Commissioner. “With this partnership and the community, these sites will provide children and families with places for recreation and increase the attractiveness of our neighborhoods—all by taking affordable steps to transform land into publicly accessible green space. Green 2015 is a smart choice, makes sense for Philadelphia, and we look forward to engaging with many partners to advance this work.”

Pedro Ramos, Chair of the School Reform Commission said, “When schools, communities, and local agencies work together as we’re doing in the Green 2015 project, we’re given a unique opportunity to maximize value all around us. The children and everyone participating in this project are learning why it’s important to care about public spaces like city parks, school yards, and neighborhood playgrounds. At a time when the District must make the very best use of limited financial resources, this project offers the potential to provide cost-effective new ways to improve the quality of life in our city by creating more publicly accessible green space and protecting the environment at the same time.”

Water Commissioner Howard Neukrug shared the Water Department’s enthusiasm for Green2015. “If we want to change the world, we need to begin by nurturing the seeds for change at our schools. The city’s children – our children – are the true stewards of a sustainable future for Philadelphia. Our children need to grow and thrive amongst trees and green play spaces to truly learn about and value the elements of the natural world that clean our air, manage our stormwater and provide those precious spaces of beauty in our urban environment. PWD is thrilled to be working with its Green2015 partners – PPR, TPL and Mural Arts – to leverage our shared resources to collectively transform schools and adjacent public spaces into green acres that ultimately renew our rivers and streams.”

Because one in eight Philadelphians does not have a public park or playground within walking distance of their home, the Green2015 plan outlines the opportunity to link the City’s twin goals of increasing outdoor recreational spaces and improving stormwater management through the creation of parks, playgrounds, and other recreational areas with green elements.

The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national non-profit conservation organization that conserves land for people and is the nation’s leader in creating parks in cities. TPL is dedicated to ensuring that everyone—in particular every child—enjoys easy access to a park, playground, or open space.

Through its Parks for People–Philadelphia program, The Trust for Public Land will play a key role implementing the Green2015 Initiative of Mayor Nutter’s Greenworks Philadelphia sustainability plan, helping transform 500 acres of land into neighborhood green playspaces by 2015. TPL will work with the City of Philadelphia to identify existing schoolyards and recreation centers as prime opportunities for conversion into greened play spaces and recreation areas, thereby providing healthy, outdoor recreational resources for all Philadelphia residents, especially children.

“The renovation of urban parks and playgrounds and the creation of green spaces that allow city dwellers to connect with nature and lead healthier lives is a high priority for The Trust for Public Land,” said Will Rogers, president of TPL. “Clearly, the City has the same priorities and understands the importance of this work. We are glad to be working in a strong multi-level partnership with Mayor Michael Nutter’s office, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, the School District of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Water Department, other public partners, and local communities. Win-win partnerships like these get real traction and deliver on-the-ground results.”

Community engagement will be a critical element of The Trust for Public Land’s unique design process; teams of Philadelphia students, city and school staff, and community members will be involved throughout the design process—evaluating existing conditions, selecting new amenities and play equipment, and developing use and maintenance plans—to ensure that the parks and play¬grounds meet the needs of the communities they serve and are safe, accessible resources.

“We believe in the power of art to unleash new possibilities, create common ground, and bring together people through transformative projects,” said Philadelphia Mural Arts Program executive director Jane Golden. “Mural Arts is thrilled to be part of this public-private partnership, and looks forward to working with all of our partners and the community to create engaging, sustainable spaces for youth.”