Penn uses Northeast Philadelphia-based Revolution Recovery for its Small Projects Group construction and demolition waste recycling. Revolution Recovery’s corporate mission — to keep materials out of landfills — strongly aligns with the University’s own environmental sustainability goals. The traditional waste management companies that pick up the University’s regular trash can do some recycling, such as office paper, but they cannot handle the construction waste that most renovation jobs around campus produce — from replacement of ceiling tiles to redesign and construction. Metal, wood, plastics, cardboard, drywall, siding and carpet — and much more — is sorted and sent on for recycling.
Revolution Recovery reports that more than 80% of all waste hauled from Penn to the company’s Port Richmond center between November 2012 and October 2013 was diverted from landfills. From the recently completed Singh Center for Nanotechnology project alone, more than 180 tons of material were recycled, according to a report from Revolution Recovery. They also report nearly 35 tons of construction waste were diverted from the landfill from recent work in Stemmler Hall, and nearly two tons from work on Wharton’s buildings.