Circular Philadelphia partnered with The Resource Exchange to host its first in-person event of 2022 on April 9th at The Resource Exchange with the Where Does It Go? Show.
Circular Philadelphia’s own Director of Policy and Engagement, Nic Esposito, dusted off the three-piece suit and shaped up the mustache to host this fun game show that revealed what actually happens to materials when they’re donated, recycled or trashed.
Audience contestants joined the stage to spin the wheel (provided by The Resource Exchange, as well as a fancy set straight from a recent TV production) and land on categories such as “Recycle That Jawn”, “Reuse That Jawn”, “Don’t Even Buy That Jawn” and the ever-popular “Stump the Panel.” Once the category was set, contestants were asked to pick from an array of discarded items to see if their selection aligned with the category on the wheel, as determined by our panel of experts.
Those experts included Circular Philadelphia’s Director of Programs and Operations Samantha Wittchen, Resource Exchange Executive Director Karyn Gerred, Circular Philadelphia Board Member and Anti-Litter Celebrity Terrill Haigler (aka Ya Fav Trashman), Ben Ditzler of Dyvert, Michelle White of Remark Glass, and Matt Siegfried of Rabbit Recycling.
Game show highlights included:
- Matt Siegfried explaining the complicated (and not very effective) process of trying to recycle a potato chip bag.
- Samantha Wittchen giving a plug for Tiffin Restaurants by urging folks to take a second look at plastic containers because while they may seem like they are intended for single use, they can often be reused for many different things–like to-go food storage.
- Ya Fav Trashman giving us the low-down on how to properly dispose of a mattress by wrapping it in plastic before putting out curbside, as well as some insider info on how to get the Streets Department to pick up any missed trash or recycling pickups.
- Ben Ditzler showing off his innovative waste bin lids that allow users to place the exact materials in the transparent tops so users can know what items are recyclable and what aren’t depending on the space.
- Michelle White telling us the sad truth that most glass does not get recycled in single stream, but how Remark Glass is trying to change that paradigm with their own collections systems for upcycled and recycled glass.
- Karyn Gerred sharing some fantastic stories about the origins of the treasures found in the Resource Exchange and how they are giving second life to so many great materials.
But the biggest highlight was that every seat in the wonderful event space at 1800 N. 3rd St. was filled with even a few people standing in the back. The audience was insightful and inquisitive, and some had great stories of their own that brought them to the event.
The common thread was that many people are concerned about where their discarded materials go. Many audience members expressed gratitude that there are some really smart and innovative people and organizations working to ensure that materials are kept out of landfills and incinerators and that resources are conserved.
We at Circular Philadelphia–and all of our partners on the panel–were energized to learn that we have such strong community support for the work we do, and people want more ways to keep materials in circulation and out of landfill. We promise to keep pressing on–with many more in-person events to come!