Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Quest for Zero: Wagner Free Institute

Philadelphia's Wagner Free Institute of Science had it's “greenest” year yet, and the no-landfill goal was a huge part of that.

Don Azuma reports that in 2015 WFIS recycled 77% "of the waste stream that normally would have gone to landfills."  They raised that to 88% in 2016.  That's a terrific result on its own, and it dwarfs the 46% rate of a six-month baseline established in 2007. 
Don reports the 88% break out here:  
                1,051 lbs Trash
                7,665 lbs Recycled/Reused 
                                5,743 lbs Paper
                                641 lbs Combined (glass, aluminum, plastic)
                                330 lbs Cardboard
                                275 lbs Compost
                                And 26 different classes of materials that did not go to landfills, 
                                        such as auto tires, office equipment and expired medications.

All the staff at The Wagner pitch in with the zero waste program - how else
would these great examples come about?
The @wagnerfreeinstitute doesn't just manage its own waste production, but also the errant refuse from the neighborhood. The total diversion rate of 19.6 tons of materials since June 2007 includes 3,209 estimated pounds of neighborhood refuse diverted. 

Azuma says "We are a clean little island in the neighborhood," and he reports that some of the neighbors have even taken time to express their appreciation. Now that's how museums contribute to community - by example, by connection, by thinking outside their own spaces. Bravo Wagner! 

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