We can prevent illegal dumping and increase recycling in Philly.
As part of Circular Philadelphia’s policy development process, the Built Environment Working Group has released a policy paper, Expanding Access to Construction Debris Recycling in Philadelphia: A Policy Guide, that is a comprehensive, yet digestible, well-researched paper on how to engage Philadelphia small-scale haulers to increase recycling and decrease illegal dumping of construction debris through policy. In short, it makes the case for the why and lays out clear guidance on the how to achieve this major goal.
As a first step in developing the policy paper, the working group created this flyer that explains to the public in a simple and straightforward way how we can cut down on illegal dumping by utilizing the City’s six public sanitation convenience centers to allow haulers to recycle small loads of construction and demolition waste. The policy concept is outlined below, and you can read more about the process of developing the full policy guide on our blog.
Did You Know?
The average minimum fee at private construction debris landfills and recycling centers is $100 even for haulers using small pickup trucks with less than a ton? Did you also know that it costs the City of Philadelphia $619 per ton to clean up illegal dumping?
The Policy Concept
– 1 –
Use the existing construction and demolition recycling contract the City already has in place to put construction and demolition (C&D) debris RECYCLING dumpsters from that company at sanitation convenience centers.
– 2 –
Allow vehicles no larger than a pick-up truck or van to dispose of C&D debris (with the exception of concrete rubble) in the C&D recycling dumpsters at the sanitation centers.
– 3 –
Train sanitation convenience center workers to use a point of sale system to charge the dumpers a nominal fee of $30 per dump.
– 4 –
Offset the City of Philadelphia’s costs to service the dumpsters through the contract with the collection of this fee, making this mostly a cost neutral policy.
Why This Is Possible and Can Be Successful:
It’s Already Happening:
The Fairmount Park Organic Recycling Center currently allows contractors to drop off organic debris for a fee and also pick up mulch and wood chips for a fee. Trained employees use a point of sale system to run this program.
This Is Cost Neutral:
Even if the $30 fee doesn’t fully cover the total cost of disposal through the construction recycling contract, the difference will be far less than the amount of money the City spends cleaning up illegal dumping.
It Creates Economic Opportunity:
This policy will open up new entrepreneurial opportunities for small-scale haulers to capture and recycle debris from demolition sites and renovation sites, which the City is encouraging and incentivizing over full demolition.
But to make this concept become real legislation, we need to hear from you! Please fill out this form to voice your support for this legislation, get on our mailing list for future action and leave a comment with your thoughts or questions on the proposed legislation and information. If you’d like to contact your elected officials to urge them to support this legislation, we’ve created sample language and a directory of elected officials and candidates to make it easy for you.
Let’s stop illegal dumping and increase recycling in Philly together!
Voice your support and feedback for this issue in two easy steps:
Review the policy paper and use this form to voice your support for this policy change, get on our mailing list for future advocacy and send us your thoughts and comments on the proposed policy and information.
Contact your elected officials to let them know that they should pay attention to it. We have a new mayoral administration and city council that took office in 2024, and we would like to see this policy as an early priority. We’ve drafted sample language and created a directory of elected officials to make it easy for you to contact your representatives.