<![CDATA[NBC 10 Philadelphia - Green News]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/green http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC10_40x125.png NBC 10 Philadelphia http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com en-us Tue, 03 Mar 2015 02:35:36 -0500 Tue, 03 Mar 2015 02:35:36 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Philly Fed Burning Cash to Power Homes]]> Wed, 31 Dec 2014 05:24:26 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Fed+Reserve+Philly+Money+Shred+Fire+composite.jpg

It may be the only time you’d want to see cash go up in flames.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia is literally burning tons of paper money to power local homes and businesses.

“This program is important because rather than sitting in a landfill, our currency shred is now being recycled and turned into electricity, providing power to residents of the Delaware Valley,” said Jake Lofton, an officer in the Fed’s Cash Services Department.

Every month the Fed shreds an average of 16 tons of currency at its facility in Old City Philadelphia, Lofton said. Its money that’s been worn out and needs to be taken out of circulation.

The life span for different bills varies from about 3 and a half years for $50 bills to 7 and a half years for $20s and 15 years for $100 bills, according to the bank.

The shredded cash is then taken to an energy-from-waste plant in Chester, Pennsylvania, burned and the steam generated from the process produces electricity.

“The shredded currency generates 110,000 kWh of renewable electricity each year — enough to power 115 homes for a month,” Lofton said.

The cash-for-energy burn started in 2011 when the Fed started looking at ways to become more environmentally friendly, Lofton said.

For the 30 years before that change, the destroyed money was placed into landfills.

The Philadelphia Fed isn’t the only Federal Reserve Bank that is recycling old money. Facilities in Los Angeles and San Francisco also burn their shredded cash for electricity and in Phoenix the residue is converted into home insulation, according to the bank.


Contact Vince Lattanzio at 610.668.5532, vince.lattanzio@nbcuni.com or follow @VinceLattanzio on Twitter.



Photo Credit: Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia/Composite Image]]>
<![CDATA[Local Gardens Have 'Best Restroom' in US]]> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 12:26:53 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Longwood+Gardens+Restroom1.jpg

Looking for the best public restroom in the country? Look no further than Chester County's Longwood Gardens.

The Kennett Square, Pennsylvania attraction flushed the competition in Cintas’ "America’s Best Restroom Contest."  Cintas present the award for the best public restroom of 2014 to Longwood's eco-friendly "green wall" restroom.

Longwood, the most-visited public garden in the country, is known for its restrooms which are part of the largest eco-friendly Green Wall in America. Inside, natural light streams in through translucent glass, minimizing the need for light fixtures.

Cintas’s Senior Marketing Manager John Engel presented the best loo award to Longwood’s Chief Marketing Officer Marnie Conley.

"We’re excited to announce Longwood Gardens as the 2014 Cintas’ America’s Best Restroom," said Engel. "The team at Longwood has proven it understands the value of a restroom that’s creative and memorable for guests."

The competition stresses the important link between clean restrooms and customer retention, said Engel.

The nationwide contest received submissions and thousands of online votes for bathrooms in restaurants, retail complexes, running trails, and a children’s toy stores. Ohio-based Cintas — which provides business services like bathroom-design — picked 10 finalists based on cleanliness, visual appeal, innovation, functionality and unique design elements.

Bowl Plaza in Lucas, Kansas took second place while The Fabulous Fox Theater in St. Louis, Missouri took third. The top three finalists all receive a thorough restroom "Deep Clean" valued at $500. Longwood was also awarded a $2,500 to be used toward Cintas services like cleaning supplies.

The significance of the award wasn't lost on Longwood.

"We are so pleased to receive the America’s Best Restroom award," said Conley. “Longwood Gardens is about beautiful horticulture, being a good steward to our environment, and providing an extraordinary experience for our more than one million guests each year."



Photo Credit: Longwood Gardens]]>
<![CDATA[Philadelphia Hits Historic Recycling Rates]]> Thu, 13 Nov 2014 20:35:24 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000008645235_1200x675_357643843736.jpg The Philadelphia Streets Department announced historic recycling rates in the city.]]> <![CDATA[What Caused Schuylkill River Sheen?]]> Fri, 07 Nov 2014 11:50:19 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/215*120/Schuylkill+River+Oily+Sheen.JPG

What caused that colorful oily sheen floating on the Schuylkill River Wednesday?

The U.S. Coast Guard claimed it was caused by runoff from a water main break along 28th Street in the Grays Ferry section of the city.

The Philadelphia Water Department, however, disputed that claim.

"The Water Department has investigated and determined that the sheen on the Schuylkill River yesterday was not related to the water main break at 28th and Dickinson," said Water Department spokesman John Digiulio.

The sheen appeared up river from where the water main ruptured. Photos of the slick were also posted to social media hours before the break was discovered.

The oily, rainbow-colored, mass was visible from the Schuylkill River Path throughout the day Wednesday.

Pictures were posted to social networks starting Wednesday morning and by the afternoon, the sheen was visible from NBC10’s Comcast Center camera as it floated around Locust Street.

After NBC10 alerted Mayor Michael Nutter’s office to the possible slick, the city called the Coast Guard and asked them to investigate. The Coast Guard controls the waters below the Fairmount Dam.

The Coast Guard confirmed Thursday that they responded and found runoff debris. They cleared the mess from the water by Thursday afternoon.

"The water department is not aware of what caused this oily sheen, however, we will work with the other agencies involved to investigate this to see if a source can be identified," said Digiulio.

The Coast Guard wasn't aware of any threat to the public from the bright-colored event.

The Region 3 office of the federal Environmental Protection Agency didn't receive any information about the event causing any health hazards, said EPA spokesman David Sternberg.

 



Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Oily Sheen Floats Down Schuylkill River]]> Thu, 06 Nov 2014 07:58:46 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/215*120/Schuylkill+River+Oily+Sheen.JPG

What was the oily sheen floating down the Schuylkill River Wednesday?

That’s what NBC10 asked of city and federal officials after being alerted to the oily, rainbow-colored, mass visible from the Schuylkill River Path throughout the day Wednesday.

Photos hit social media starting Wednesday morning and by Wednesday afternoon the sheen was visible from NBC10’s Comcast Tower camera as it floated past Locust Street.

NBC10 called Mayor Michael Nutter’s office as well as federal officials as we tried to figure out what caused the sheen.

After becoming alerted to the possible slick, mayor’s office spokesman Mark McDonald said that the city had alerted the United States Coast Guard of the event since it occurred in Coast Guard controlled waters below the Fairmount Dam. McDonald said the city’s Office of Emergency Management would also look into the event.

The Coast Guard confirmed late Wednesday afternoon that they would be sending a crew to investigate the event.

The Region 3 office of the federal Environmental Protection Agency also became aware of the oily-like slick and would be investigating, according to spokesman David Sternberg.

None of the agencies gave a timetable on when they might find out what caused the sheen and where it came from.



Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Philly Starts Curbside Leaf Collection]]> Mon, 10 Nov 2014 09:14:27 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Barnes+Red+Leaves+Generic.jpg

Philadelphia’s Streets Department began collecting fall leaves from the city’s curbs Monday.

The annual collection service will last six weeks.

But there are regulations to follow to ensure the leaves are picked up on the designated days for each neighborhood.

Rake ‘em, don’t bag ‘em!

The streets department will only collect leaves that are neatly raked to the curb or in biodegradable paper bags. This reduces contamination so the leaves can be recycled. Additionally, residents are urged to avoid mixing trash into the bagged leaves since they won’t be usable.

The city carefully selected areas that receive a significant amount of leaf buildup. People who wish to recycle or remove their leaves, but are not in an area selected for the collection program, can head to any one of four sanitation centers to drop off their bagged leaves or one of 22 locations spread out throughout the city on Saturdays starting Nov. 10 (excluding the Saturday following Veterans Day and Thanksgiving) until Dec. 13.

Leaves can be reused for composting, although Philadelphia will not be hosting any composting workshops this fall. Philadelphia will publish updates on their plans with autumn’s leaf recycling program as they continue to collect the foliage.

Pro tip:

Composting leaves is not easy since they are highly acidic. It's hard to know how leaves will react while they decompose. It's easier for the streets department to collect the leaves for recycling than try to re-purpose the leaves at  home.

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<![CDATA[Philly's 1st Natural Gas Station Opens]]> Tue, 09 Sep 2014 11:17:31 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/198*120/Natural+Gas+Station+Pump.JPG

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett celebrated the opening Tuesday of the first compressed natural gas fueling station in Philadelphia.

The CNG station, located at 2901W Abbottsford Ave. near the Roosevelt Boulevard (U.S. Route 1) in the city's East Falls neighborhood features full service natural gas fueling as well as a convenience store and Dunkin’ Donuts.

Corbett joined officials from Ball Cynwyd, Pennsylvania-based VNG Co. to tout the station as supplying clean-burning natural gas.

“Pennsylvania has the second-largest energy field in the world, and cities from Pittsburgh to Williamsport to Towanda to Philadelphia are benefiting from our game-changing energy resources,” Corbett said. “The convenience of a local CNG fueling station makes it possible for local governments, organizations, companies and residents to make the switch to this cleaner and affordable alternative fuel. By harnessing natural gas, we are reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving air quality and putting Pennsylvania at the forefront of American energy independence.

A $253,000 Alternative Clean Energy Grant and a $169,000 loan from the commonwealth helped pay for the station. The Corbett Administration said that VNG matched more than $422,000 to make the station a reality.

Corbett's administration has put a big emphasis on fracking natural gas in the Keystone State. Corbett said that over his tenure the state has gone from importing 75 percent of its natural gas to exporting more than the state uses.

VNG plans to build similar stations around the country.



Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Long Stretch of Sunshine Good for Crops in New Jersey]]> Wed, 13 Aug 2014 09:42:30 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/nj+rain+bumper+crops.jpg The mix of cool nights and warm, sunny days is perfect for growing fruits and vegetables -- and this summer's weather has been good to the crops in New Jersey. Brian Thompson reports]]> <![CDATA[Local Oil Spill Bigger Problem Than Expected]]> Fri, 08 Aug 2014 06:20:15 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Cause-of-Mystery-Oil-Spill-.jpg The Washington Township oil spill is more than twice as large as first estimated.

Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Eco-Goats Are Hired to Chomp Cemetery Weeds]]> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 04:18:58 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/eco_goats_cemetery_02.JPG

Dozens of goats have been hired to help make West Laurel Hill Cemetery more eco-friendly this week.

The bill for 40 goats for about five days of grazing is $5,000. That's $25 per day per goat. Well, the money isn't what the goats love, it's the green. 

"They are a riot. We have to clear a lot of areas and did not want lawnmowers and machines that use gas to do that," said Priyank Setty of West Laurel Hill. 

The "eco-goats" are working to whip the green burial section known as Nature's Sancturary into shape in Bala Cynwyd. The forty mouths spend 18 hours per day grazing the weeds that have settled in. Their job at West Laurel Hill is to devour about an acre of growth mostly on a hill.

"Goats will come through and mop up the problem vegetation," said owner Bill Knox of Sustainable Resource Management. "They also improve the soil as they go by dropping fertilizer on the ground. We work on goat time, when they are done, they are done."

The goal is to remove invasive weeds and vegetation such as the Japanese knot weed. The goats consume a fourth of their body weight in grazing each day, according to Knox. The goats are a cross section of breeds and live on a 50-acre property in Davidonville, Md. They are on the road a majority of the growing season, which is May to October.

The West Laurel Hill Cemetery is a 187-acre arboretum and outdoor sculpture garden. Removing the invasive vegetation will help the landscape evolve naturally over time.

The animals have becoming an attraction for runners and passersbys, but they should not be pet. 

"The goats work whenever they feel like it. They form cliques and stick together, and move around together," said Setty who observed them making noise.

Not a bad weeklong job as the goats take breaks and call it quitting time when they want to.

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<![CDATA["Find Your Path" to Parks & Rec]]> Wed, 30 Apr 2014 11:47:38 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/215*120/Fairmount+Park+Trail+Generic+Trail+Generic+Park.JPG

“Find Your Path”

That’s the new slogan for Philadelphia’s Parks & Recreation Department.

Parks & Rec officials will join Mayor Michael Nutter Wednesday to announce the new brand campaign.

Before the official announcement, the department released a nearly 5-minute long video featuring people of all types of backgrounds and ages enjoying Philly’s green spaces, playgrounds and gyms.

The highly-stylized video features views of games, parks, ice rinks, pools and even beauty shots of Forbidden Drive in Fairmount Park and Fitler Square in Center City.

What do you think of the message? Does this new campaign help you “find your path” to your parks and rec centers?



Photo Credit: Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department/YouTube]]>
<![CDATA[Cold Winter Helping Summer Crops]]> Mon, 28 Apr 2014 08:20:36 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/peppers+crops.JPG Our region's cold winter has some positive effects. NBC10's Christine Maddela reports from Cherry Hill, N.J. on how summer crops are benefitting from our snowy winter.

Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Styrofoam Ban in Philly?]]> Mon, 28 Apr 2014 06:00:12 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/styrofoam+ban+proposal.jpg Philadelphia recycling leaders are all for banning styrofoam in the city due to its harmful environmental impact. NBC10's Jesse Gary reports in the Northeast with the details.]]> <![CDATA[Solar Urban Farm Stand]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 07:23:25 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/212*120/Greensgrow+Farms.JPG A solar farm stand will help power Greensgrow Farms on Cumberland Street in Kennsington.

Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>