With the arrival of the new year, Parks & Rec has six resolutions for a more sustainable 2019. Here’s a peek at that list:
1. Tidy up at the Fairmount Park Organic Recycling Center.
Now through March, the Organic Recycling Center in West Fairmount Park will not receive drop-offed materials. During this time, employees will reorganize the inventory of dropped-off materials that’s already at the center. That way, our staff can provide smoother services starting April 1. Until then, visitors are still welcome to pick up materials like wood chips, compost, and mulch.
2. Reduce littering and dumping at parks and recreation centers.
We are doing several things to discourage dumping at our sites. A few of these strategies include:
- Posting signage with the City’s updated dumping fines, which go as high as $2,000 for domestic dumping. Domestic dumping includes things like kitchen trash and yard waste.
- Changing waste management systems at heavily dumped facilities, so trash is no longer picked up from the curb.
- Making a monthly map of all reported dumping within the Parks & Rec system to share with the City’s new Environmental Crimes Detective.
3. Install more hydration stations.
In 2018, Parks & Rec installed “hydration stations” (water bottle-filling stations) at 18 park and recreation facilities. This year, we will install 16 more at recreation centers across the city. The units are a win-win: they provide access to clean, quality drinking water, and they reduce waste caused by single-use bottles.
4. Expand the solid waste recycling program at recreation facilities.
Over half of our recreation centers and playgrounds recycle as part of the department’s bin placement and collection system. In 2019, we plan to revamp the remaining sites that haven’t been part of the formal program. This jump-start on recycling is one of the key actions in the City’s Zero Waste & Litter initiative.
Adding these sites to the official system includes:
- Providing new recycling bins and security hardware
- Establishing frequent and efficient pick-ups of material
- Providing recycling education through signage and workshops.
5. Continue to host successful Zero Waste Events.
Parks & Rec jumped right in to the City’s Zero Waste Events program. The goal is to divert the waste stream at Philadelphia’s large-scale, well-attended events. In 2018, we ran 11 Zero Waste events, including:
- Blue Cross Broad Street Run
- Philadelphia International Unity Cup
- Philadelphia Marathon.
The department also diverted 89% of waste from our annual Employee Recognition and Holiday Luncheon. In 2019, we hope to break our own records on waste diversion.
6. Grow more native gardens.
The Plants Make Positive Places program will enter its fifth season this spring. The program spreads native perennial garden spaces and educates users on the benefits and care for native plants. The 2019 spring season will begin with 22 gardens at parks and playgrounds across the city. This is the most sites since the program began! A new round of applications will open in the fall.