March 23, 2011 |
The level of salty compounds in the Monongahela River south of Pittsburgh spiked above acceptable limits in late 2008 - not a health risk, according to federal and state regulators, but drinking water drawn from the river tasted like mud. Environmentalists blamed the contamination on Marcellus Shale gas-drilling discharges. Natural-gas drillers pointed to other sources in the historically stressed river: pollutants from coal mines and other industrial discharges. Which source was to blame didn't really matter.
March 12, 2011 |
TV series are like the tubercular poets of yore: They pass too soon. Especially the good ones. As a result, prime-time actors tend to show up again and again, commandeering a new horse as soon as their current one falters. It feels like William Shatner, Sarah Chalke, Greg Grunberg, Holland Taylor, Jimmy Smits, Scott Bakula, Dana Delany, Jerry O'Connell, Kyle Chandler, Gerald McRaney, Scott Wolf, Michael Chiklis, Heather Locklear, Eric Close, and others are always with us. The absolute king of this phenomenon is the late Robert Urich, who starred in everything but The Jeffersons . Urich was recycled more times than a SunnyD jug. Usually, familiarity does not breed contempt.
January 8, 2011 |
Marking the end of his holiday season, Jerry Hoggard of Northeast Philadelphia put his family's Christmas tree in the back of his pickup truck and hauled it away. Hoggard, who in the past set his natural Christmas tree curbside on rubbish-collection day, took an environmentally friendly approach this week, recycling his blue spruce at a Philadelphia Streets Department Sanitation Convenience Center at Domino Lane and Umbria Street in the Shawmont section. "This is the first time I brought a tree down here," said Hoggard, a father of two. "I live in the Northeast, and I normally set it out on the curb, but since I have this truck, I brought it myself.
December 31, 2010 |
It'll soon be time to recycle the Christmas tree, and here's a fun, nontraditional way to do that: Take the tree outside, lean it against a wall or deck or toss it on the ground, and load it up with homemade, edible "ornaments" that birds and possibly other creatures can enjoy. The idea is known as "trim-a-tree for wildlife," and it "makes for a special family event, especially at this time of year," says Molly Sahner, a Bucks County stay-at-home mother with two children. With their natural food supply dwindling or hidden under snow, birds and other animals can get hungry in winter.
December 18, 2010 |
Last we heard from Kevin Stutler, back in August, he was patiently waiting for the Philadelphia Streets Department to come to its senses and grant him clemency for tossing a plastic bottle into the trash. Since then, he says, the city has only added insult to injury. "This whole thing has been too much," he said wearily this month over tea at a fair-trade café in Mount Airy. Stutler, a 35-year-old organic gardener, vegetarian, and conscientious eco-activist, is known around the neighborhood for picking up litter, offering green advice, and always putting his recyclables in the proper blue bucket.
December 8, 2010 |
Within weeks, discarded televisions and computer equipment in New Jersey will go from trash to treasure. A state law that bans landfilling the equipment, and encourages its recycling, goes into effect Jan. 1. Similar to e-waste laws in nearly two dozen states - including Pennsylvania, where Gov. Rendell signed legislation last month - the Jersey law switches the recycling onus from consumers and taxpayers, making manufacturers ultimately responsible...
October 25, 2010 |
It was a chilly 7:30 a.m., and the Green Ladies of Quakertown climbed into the beige Buick Regal they used as their patrol car. Fran Baker, 69, was driving; Ruth O'Toole, 76, was riding shotgun as the navigator; and Barbara Preston, 65, was in the backseat. It was the end of the Green Ladies' four-month mission on behalf of the borough and their beloved senior center. Since April, the Green Ladies, as they came to be known, have patrolled the streets of Quakertown to encourage borough residents to start recycling.
September 13, 2010
RE MICHAEL Smerconish's Sept. 2 column "Send Philadelphia's Recycling Nannies to the Landfill": Mr. Smerconish suggested that I send my Streets & Walkways Education and Enforcement Program officers to the landfill. Sorry, but Mayor Nutter and I have spent two years working to reduce what we send there. That hard work is for a good reason: Every ton of waste that goes to the landfill costs taxpayers $65, while every ton of recycling our crews collect earns the taxpayers $50. The city expects to earn $3 million from recycling this year.
September 2, 2010
IF THE Streets Department called Central Casting and requested a "greenie" - and I say that without derision - Kevin Stutler would've gotten the role. He's a vegetarian who recycles religiously. And the former owner of a 20-acre organic farm (complete with solar-warmed showers) who's still an organic gardener. He grows worms in his garage. And collects old batteries off the street so their toxicity doesn't end up in local soil or water. And he lives, where else, in Mount Airy!
August 28, 2010 |
Of all the trash bags on all the streets in all the city, they rummaged through his. And then, they gave him a ticket for not recycling. Kevin Stutler - a man who not only sorts his own plastic, paper, cardboard, glass, and empty cans, but also cleans up the trash from his less conscientious neighbors - could not believe the irony. Acting on orders from the mayor and City Council to pressure residents to recycle, the Streets Department is dispatching 46 enforcers to rummage through the garbage people put out on the street.