A Look Back at 2018
As 2018 comes to a close, we’re taking a look back as some of this year’s highlights!
With the help of our amazing volunteers and contractors, PRC was able to host five Hard to Recycle Events throughout Allegheny County, serving nearly 4,000 residents! Here’s how much material was recycled:
- 348,842 pounds of electronics – about the weight of 58 elephants
- 1,394 tires – enough to outfit 77 eighteen-wheeler trucks
- 2,100 CFL bulbs and 2,363 Flourescent tubes– Around 22 grams of mercury was responsible disposed of through the recycling of these lights. Only 1 teaspoon of mercury is enough to make over 8,000,000 gallons of water unsafe to drink
- 5,544 Cubic feet of expanded polystyrene – That’s enough expanded polystyrene to make over three thousand life size human manikins or 30 life size African elephant manikins.
- 355 Freon contain appliances and 525 small appliances
Thanks to help of our dedicated volunteers, PRC was able to host seven Household Chemical Collection Events in five counties. PRC serviced 4,010 families and collected 355,574 pounds of material for responsible disposal. The graph below shows the top materials collected at these events over the past 14 years.
Watershed and Stormwater Management
PRC completed the pilot phase of the Stream Smart House Call audit program in the Darby-Cobbs watershedof suburban Philadelphia. 107 property audits were conducted under this grant from the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, educating property owners about simple, low-cost ways to reduce excess stormwater runoff which causes pollution in our waterways.
PRC also built new demonstration rain gardens at Academy Park High School, Darby Township School, and Morton Borough Hall, and assisted the Hav-a-Raingarden program in Haverford Township, Delaware County with 10 residential rain garden installations. Students assisted with the digging and planting of the school rain gardens, learning about watershed stewardship and potential career paths in Green Stormwater Infratructure.
PRC continues its partnership in the William Penn Foundation’s Delaware River Watershed Initiative. Phase II of the program was launched in 2018, with PRC’s work focused on the Naylors Run portion of the Cobbs Creek Watershed west of Philadelphia. PRC is a key partner in Green Stormwater Infrastructure initiatives and intensive water quality monitoring in this area.
- Over the course of nineteen Backyard Composting Workshops 404 participants learned about backyard composting and 285 bins were distributed. During these workshops participants learned how to expand their recycling efforts to include kitchen scraps and yard debris, while generating natural, home-made compost for their lawn and gardens.
- Through eleven Rain Barrel Workshops across the state 325 participants learned how to collect and use rain water. Additionally, 270 barrels were distributed. These workshops teach residents how to reduce their contribution to combined sewer overflow, flooding, and polluted urban runoff by learning how to practice watershed protection and conservation in their own backyards!
Zero Waste PA
- This year alone, PRC’s Zero Waste Pennsylvania program has diverted over 38 tons of recycling and organic material from landfills through its zero waste event program.
- Our service was provided for over 50 event days throughout Southwestern, PA with an average diversion rate of 79%.
In School Environmental Education
PRC’s school education programs bring environment and ecology to life both in the classroom and on field trips. In 2018 we enhanced the educational experience of 3389 students during 260 programming days across PRC’s Eastern, Central, and Western PA service areas.
The Litter? Not in Philly! online block adoption program recruited over 1,300 volunteers to help clean up litter in their neighborhood each week. The program is currently being expanded to new neighborhoods, including Southwest Philadelphia.
The 34th Annual Gene Capaldi Lens on Litter Contest attracted many great entries depicting the problems of litter and illegal dumping in Pennsylvania. The contest was renamed for longtime a dedicated PRC volunteer who ran the contest for many years and who passed away in 2017.
Other Great Events
If you missed any of our annual events, be sure to keep an eye out for the 2019 schedule!
- Wild & Scenic Film Festival
- PRC Annual Awards Celebration honored Wawa, Philadelphia Media Network LLC, Falk School of Sustainability at Chatham University, and Eldredge, Inc.