It’s About Time- Philly Joins the Rest of the Industrialized World

July 10, 2008

Philadelphians no longer have to sort recyclables from the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Northwest Philadelphia is the last area to join single stream recycling. Guess which area I live in? Finally I don’t have to separate glass/metal and paper. I can also recycle #1 and 2 plastic! No more schlepping it to work and sneaking it into the recycling dumpster there, but there’s no word on whether we can also recycle corrogated cardboard. Reminds me of Mr. Burns greeting Ned Flanders at his door:

Ned Flanders: So, recycling is just our way of giving Mother Earth a great big hug!
Mr. Burns: Yes, well, it does sound delightful! I can’t wait to start pawing through my garbage like some starving raccoon!

Mr. Burns to Smithers: Release the hounds.
To Flanders: Well, neighbor, I see you’ve got your running shoes on. That’s a good thing.

This move brought Philly from an embarassing 3% recycling rate to 8%. The national average is 18%.
The biggest reason we’re not even close to that goal is because recycling is still collected every OTHER week. Plans are in the works to increase it to weekly by January. Cool.

Looks like Curby Bucket is doing his job. Just in time for the city to implement garbage fees or “pay as you throw”. Environmentalists think it will help our recycling efforts, but I think it’ll make our litter and illegal dumping problem even worse.

Is that possible?



  1. Uh. Wha th ‘ell?

  2. The every other week thing is at the heart of the problem. Imagine living in a tiny apartment space and having to hold on to recycling for two weeks. We’ve always recycled, but that’s just us. But I can see why people DON’T. We got mainstream recycling last year in South Philly and I think I’ve seen increased blue buckets on the sidewalks. (or maybe I’m just seeing what I want to see?)

  3. Tell me about it. And forget it if you have a party that week.
    I have one more complaint (naturally)- Those buckets are way too big for most Philly houses/apartments. I still use my old old smaller round bucket. It’s moved with me through 4 houses around the city so far!

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