City’s Recycling through Composting Program

Posted by on February 28, 2004

Calling all gardeners!

As you look through seed catalogs and dream about warm sunshine and the forthcoming growing season, your plans should also include learning about composting — if you aren’t already practicing that most natural form of recycling.

Take a look at the following press release.

If you have already come to a workshop — Good for you! Please share this information with others you think may be interested. Tell your friends, include it in your emails and newsletters. (And if your organization would like to host a Saturday session or otherwise support this program, please give me a call.**)

City’s Recycling through Composting Program
Announces Free Workshops for Spring 2004
Philadelphia Gardeners Divert Tons of Organic Waste from Landfills

The City of Philadelphia Streets Department is pleased to invite residents to one of the following free composting workshops:
Northwest – Wednesday, March 17, 6:45 p.m.
Lovett Memorial Library, 6945 Germantown Avenue, Mount Airy

Northeast – Wednesday, March 24, 6:15 p.m.
Torresdale Library, 3079 Holme Avenue

South/ Southwest – Saturday, April 17, 2:00 p.m.
Paschalville Branch, 6942 Woodland Avenue

West – Wednesday, April 21, 6:00 p.m.
Overbrook Park Branch, 7422 Haverford Ave, 19151

North – Wednesday, May 19, 6:15 p.m.
Logan Branch, 1333 Wagner Avenue

Training programs are one to two hours in length. After completing the workshop, Philadelphia residents are urged to join the Recycling through Composting Team. To join, participants sign a pledge to compost yard waste and report on materials diverted from their household waste stream. The signed pledge form entitles the household to one* home compost bin worth approximately $80. Residents interested in attending a compost-training workshop must pre-register by calling (215) 686-5444. Anyone is welcome to attend as a guest and receive training and a manual, but only pre-registered Philadelphia residents presenting appropriate identification will be eligible to receive a back yard composter. If demand exceeds supply, priority will be given to the earliest registrants.

“We thank the enthusiastic members of the Recycling through Composting Team whose commitment to this environmentally sound program has helped to make it a growing success. We hope to welcome another 500 households into the program this year,” says David B. Robinson, City of Philadelphia Recycling Coordinator. “Why throw away leaves and clippings, when you can turn them into a valuable resource?” Holmesburg Librarian Catherine Huntzberry, who composts in her garden, says, “I consider it black gold.” With spring just around the corner, Philadelphia’s gardeners are eager to start working in their yards and community garden plots. As they begin to clear dead growth and pull weeds, they can build compost piles to save landfill space while improving the soil in their own gardens. According to reports from team members, each household that joins the Recycling through Composting Team diverts an average of 500 pounds of yard waste per year from the waste stream. The City’s Recycling through Composting Program provides Philadelphia residents with free training about urban composting, including an introduction to worm farming for those who don’t have outdoor space. Thanks to the support of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental
Protection, the City can make backyard compost bins available to participants at no charge.

The City of Philadelphia Streets Department is pleased to be partnering with neighborhood facilities of the Free Library of Philadelphia in extending the Recycling through Composting Program to the public. Individuals, community gardens and environmentally concerned organizations interested in learning more about this program should call (215) 686-5444. A recording is available on that line 24 hours a day. Program information will also be available soon on the Streets Department’s web site at and on the City’s Government Access Cable Channel 64.

* Participating households may attend workshops for a “refresher” course, but are not eligible for additional equipment.

Margi Ide, Recycling Program Specialist II
Philadelphia Recycling Office
780 Municipal Services Building
1401 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19102-1664

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