Thursday, September 20, 2007

Recycling rocks in Philly!

At first I learned about it after reading a post of Sarah Schmalbach at Philly STYLE Magazine. Then I went to GreenFest Philly and saw some of the people involved in it. And now all is left to do is to get to Philly on Saturday, Sept. 29 and climb to the roof of Whole Foods on market and 10th streets. There you'll find a unique event combining activism and party - Rock & RecycleNOW.

So what is it all about? over the past 18 months RecycleNOW Philadelphia has been collecting over 12,000 signatures, lobbying for public hearings, and making sure the next mayor of Philadelphia will implement a dependable weekly curbside recycling program for everyone in the city.

Their request is simple: expand the recycling pilot projects conducted in Chestnut Hill and West Oak Lane by RecycleBank to all of the city. RecycleBank is a private company that initiated a brilliant recycling program based on an offer people cannot refuse - receive incentives to recycle more. The program rewards resident participation by each with up to $400 a year in discount shopping coupons. You recycle more, you get more coupons.

The idea was to combine attractive incentives with simplicity and comfort - residents were given a single 35 gallon container for all recyclables: glass metal and plastic food containers and all kinds of paper including Cardboard. This way it became much easier for them to recycle (check RecycleBank's demo to see how it works).

RecyleBank created a Win-Win-Win program where everybody wins: residents (more comfort, more coupons), the city (smaller amounts of garbage save the city money) and the companies providing coupons (green promotion for them). No wonder the program is a huge success and increased the percentage of recycling according to RecycleNOW Philadelphia in as much as 125 percent. But somehow, the organization says Philadelphia's city officials remain skeptical of these results and, as it has with previous successful pilots, called for more study.

And now they need your help and support. As they write on their website "Enough is enough. The Recycling Alliance of Philadelphia here calls on you and all Philadelphians to raise our collective voices and let our elected officials know in no uncertain terms: implement and expand Recycle Bank™ recycling program immediately, every week from homes and businesses in every neighborhood across the City."

I support this call as RecycleBank's model succeeded where many other models and ideas have failed and this is the reason they have spread to Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Vermont, Massachusetts and New York. So, it seems only logical to expand it to the rest of Philly for the benefit of both the residents and the city.

The event will feature live performances by Philly’s best local bands: The Capitol Years, The Swimmers, The Adam Monaco Band, Adam and Dave’s Bloodline, Sarsaparilla, Tough Guys Take Over.

The event will take place between 3 to 7 pm. Tickets are $15 and available at

So rock and recycle, show your support and come to the party!

See you there,

Eco-Libris: Plant a tree for every book you read!