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Philabundance Celebrates Earth Week by Becoming EPA Sustainability Partner

Release Date: 04/20/2011
Contact Information: Donna Heron heron.donna@epa.gov (215) 814-5113

PHILADELPHIA (April 20, 2011)In a special Earth Day signing ceremony held today, Philabundance joined the growing ranks of organizations from across the mid-Atlantic region to enroll in U.S. EPA’s Sustainability Partnership program.

As a Sustainability Partner, Philabundance will work with EPA to green the charity’s operations in an effort to reduce operating costs. The signing took place at the Philabundance headquarters in South Philadelphia.

“EPA welcomes Philabundance as a Sustainability Partner. The good work they do to provide nutritious food for those at risk in the Philadelphia area has never been needed more than in these tough economic times,” said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “Although we’ve collaborated with Philabundance for more than five years in EPA office-wide food drives, the partnership that begins today has the potential to create substantial savings by allowing Philabundance to direct more dollars to the dinner tables of those in need.”

Philabundance has identified food waste composting and reducing its energy usage as two areas of initial focus as they become more sustainable.

“On behalf of Philabundance, I am so very pleased to be partnering with the Environmental Protection Agency and working to make Philabundance a more sustainable non-profit,” said Bill Clark, president and executive director of Philabundance.

Philabundance will partner with the Wilmington Organic Recycling Center (WORC) in Wilmington, Del., to divert the charity’s food waste from landfills to lower-cost beneficial uses.

“Composting is an environmentally and economically friendly alternative for dealing with food and yard waste. Instead of sending the waste to landfills where it will produce methane, a greenhouse gas, the waste is transformed into a useful garden product,” said Nelson Widell, president of the Peninsula Compost Group, which operates WORC. WORC became an EPA Sustainability Partner on Earth Day 2010.

Landfills are the second–largest human-related source of methane in the U.S., accounting for 23 percent of all methane emissions in 2007. Methane is generated in landfills and open dumps as waste decomposes without oxygen.

The overall goal of the Sustainability Partnership is to minimize the use of energy, resources and waste generation in the mid-Atlantic states by working with businesses and institutions with large environmental footprints and sharing best practices. The partnership initiative offers a holistic approach to help organizations “go green” in a way that often saves money and makes good business sense.

For More information on the Sustainability Partnership Program go to: http://www.epa.gov/reg3wcmd/spp/index.html

For more information on Composting go to: http://www.epa.gov/wastes/conserve/rrr/composting/.

For more information on Greenhouse Gases go to: http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/tools/payt/tools/gases.htm.