Paving the Way Toward a Zero Waste Philadelphia

Why Zero Waste?

Each year Philadelphia disposes of nearly 1.5 million tons of residential and commercial waste — one ton for every resident.  As a city, we spend tens of millions of dollars each year cleaning up short dumping and litter. And although we collectively recycle almost 40% of combined residential and commercial waste, we have  work to do to compete with the sustainable cities of the 21st century. If Philadelphia is to become a greener, more beautiful city, it will take commitment and a coordinated effort from the entire city to dispose of less, recycle and reuse more, and embrace new approaches to keeping our shared spaces clean.

Bold Goal

Philadelphia’s long-term Zero Waste goal is to fully eliminate the use of landfills

and conventional incinerators by 2035.

How Will We Get There?

To do this, Philadelphia will reduce and divert 90% of the waste generated in the city away from the trash. The Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet has developed a Zero Waste strategy focused on:

  • Reducing waste in buildings
  • Reducing waste at events
  • Engaging Philadelphia’s residents, businesses, and institutions in Zero Waste
  • Exploring new ways to reduce and divert waste

Download the Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet’s Action Plan to learn what strategies the Cabinet has set out to advance Philadelphia toward a Zero Waste and litter-free future.

Zero Waste Programs

Municipal Building Waste Audit

Establishing waste reporting requirements for municipal buildings and providing building managers with tools and resources to understand their waste and reduce it

Zero Waste Events

Providing event organizers with resources to help them reduce and divert waste, using Philadelphia’s robust public events calendar and growing tourism industry to promote our city’s commitment to sustainability

Zero Waste Partnerships

Whether you’re a Philadelphia resident, community group, non-profit, municipal employee, or business, you can take actions to reduce your waste and play a part in advancing Philadelphia toward its Zero Waste goal

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