Philadelphia intends to become a "zero waste" city — even while hosting big events such as the NFL draft and the thousands of visitors it will be drawing to town.
Last year, Mayor Jim Kenney set the city on a path toward eliminating the 2.5 million tons of trash the city generates annually by 2035.
Philadelphia Streets Commissioner Carlton Williams said, however, to get to the zero-waste goal, several types of things now routinely tossed into the trash will need to find a new home.
"We project that organics will make up about 25 to 35 percent of the waste stream recycling; about 35 percent textiles; about 10 percent CND, which is construction and demolition," he said. "And residual waste will make up the final 15 percent."
The goal is to recycle and reuse, to cut down on the refuse sent to landfills, said Linda Knapp of the Food Policy Advisory Council.
That can be accomplished, she said, "with an emphasis on increasing surplus food donation and using food waste and other organic material for composting to support gardens and urban farms."
Meanwhile, the city will be deploying "waste watcher" teams to big events — such as the upcoming NFL draft April 27 to 29 — to help divert from the trash what can be composted or recycled.
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