Particular Passion: Ned Foley's amazing journey from compost hobbyist to industrial leader

You could drive past the rusty mailbox and steep muddy driveway of Two Particular Acres, and be totally unaware you had passed a composting facility. There is no smell in the air, no hint of decomposing food, no sign that at the top of the driveway organic waste is being composted by the ton.
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The Reusers: In the waste recycling business, Revolution Recovery is lapping the field

Since 2008, Revolution Recovery has

- Kept 63000 tons out of landfills  
- Added 38 green jobs to the local economy
- Completed waste management for 250 LEED projects

At Revolution Recovery, founders and co-owners Avi Golen and Jon Wybar are reinventing the construction waste recycling industry.

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Go With the Flow: The Philadelphia Water Department’s Green City, Clean Waters plan gushes with possibilities

When Philadelphia received a mandate from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1997 to improve its combined sewer system, the initial solution wasn’t so great. The plan called for replacing old pipes, building more tunnels—using manmade constructions to better handle stormwater. Streets would be dug up, improvements would be made mostly underground and waterway restoration would take a long time. And renovations were expensive.
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A Room with a View: Dickinson Square Park is getting more scenic with a long-awaited makeover

Thirty years ago, South Philadelphia’s Dickinson Square Park was a mess. “Cans were throughout the whole park. Dog poop was absolutely everywhere. It was a dump,” says Ron Cohen, former president of Friends of Dickinson Square. Cohen has had a third-floor view of the park since his family moved into their apartment in the 1980s. Over the years, his view has improved. The Friends of Dickinson Square keep up the general maintenance, and now the well-used community space is getting a facelift with help from the Collaborative.
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Unpaved Paradise: Schuylkill River Park is being redesigned, starting with the entrance

The former site of ’70s-era warehouses and an impound lot for towed cars, the Schuylkill River Park is now one of Southwest Center City’s largest green spaces. While the park boasts multiple fields, courts, a community garden and recreation center, time and frequent use have qualified this space for a makeover.
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The Lunch Wars: For students and adults fighting for better, healthier school lunches, fresh cafeteria food is an issue of respect

Philadelphia high school student Seth Brown is frank about it: He started skipping lunch more and more this past year. “The rate has increased this year,” says the 18-year-old rising senior at West Philadelphia’s Parkway West High School, “because my English class is above the kitchen.”
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Waste Not: Revolution Recovery is blazing a bold new trail through the construction waste disposal business

Revolution recovery’s three-and-a-half-acre lot on Milnor Street in Northeast Philadelphia is a shrine to waste. The space hosts a huge pile of used wood and another of drywall. There are stacks of ceiling tiles and bundles of miscellaneous plastic and cardboard. The back of a truck is filled with rolled-up carpets and a group of boxes hold discarded metal poles. A truck pulls up and adds a load of mixed materials—wood, plastic, concrete and metal—to the mess. It’s like being inside a gigantic, well-organized construction site Dumpster.

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Raising the Stakes: Communal meals fund community-minded projects

There are so many creative individuals and groups in Philadelphia,” says Theresa Rose, founder of Philly Stake, “but their grassroots organizations have few ways to get funding, especially on a small level.” Rose credits Philly Stake’s success to its ability to fill this unique niche: boosting community-based projects with recurring fundraising events centered around a locally-sourced meal.

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The Wedding Issue: Change of Venue

When choosing a wedding venue, consider parks, private gardens, local farms and even friends’ backyards before looking to conventional hotels and ballrooms. Facility rental fees paid to nonprofit organizations can benefit historical or environmental preservation and programming. For a winter wedding, investigate outdoor spaces with indoor counterparts, or seek out venues with environmental building credentials.

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