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Consultant helps companies eliminate single-use plastic containers

Alisa Shargorodsky, the founder of ECHO Systems, hears it time and time again when she tells someone she works in the waste industry: “Oh, are you guys into recycling?” They’re not. “We’re not here to advocate for recycling,” she’ll say. “We are building infrastructure for radical reuse.” ECHO Systems envisions a world where food service

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2 mins read
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An independent studio prepares to release its first zero-waste, feature-length film

This 16-ounce jar holds all the waste produced on the set of “Citywide.” Photography Courtesy Fishtown Films. A 16-ounce mason jar filled with trash feels like a trophy to Emily Gallagher and Austin Elston, cofounders of Fishtown Films. It was the designated place for all waste produced during the creation of their first feature-length film, “Citywide.”

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4 mins read
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A closed vocational school became home to hundreds of small businesses. Could it be replicated elsewhere?

In 2013 the School District of Philadelphia closed 23 schools, including a massive gray stone building on South Ninth Street, the Edward W. Bok Technical High School. In an unexpected twist, the development and design firm Scout bought it for $1.75 million and has been gradually repurposing it into a sanctuary for creatives since July

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5 mins read
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Design competition aims to stimulate creativity and demand for the city’s fallen trees

Mulch, compost and wood chips are piled high on the concrete grounds of the Fairmount Park Organic Recycling Center in West Fairmount Park. On a typical day at the center, city residents fill out the sign-in sheet and waiver form and collect whatever organic materials they need from the scattered piles with shovels and buckets

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3 mins read
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Bennett Compost has scaled up its bicycle usage—and created good jobs in the process

In a former municipal building on Rising Sun Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia, cycling enthusiast Rudi Saldia is doing something he never imagined: working at a desk. It was a long and winding road—well, often a straight road on a grid—that led him to Bennett Compost’s Lawncrest headquarters. Before the days of DoorDash and Grubhub, he

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8 mins read
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