Back to Our Roots: Organic Developments in Municipal Operations

Mobile Workshop

This tour will take you through three examples of emerging operations that Philadelphia Parks & Recreation is leading in the world of organic recycling. First, participants will visit the large-scale Fairmount Park Organic Recycling Center to learn how it recycles landscape waste into products for the community for more than 50 years, and about its new Urban Wood program, the recipient of this year’s Toro Urban Park Innovation Award. 

Next, we’ll visit a mid-tier food-scrap composting facility that holds the state of Pennsylvania’s first urban composting permit on parkland. Here participants will learn about how PPR is using a public-private partnership to compost food scraps from recreation programs across the city. Finally, the group will visit one of many Community Compost Network sites to see an example of the small-scale grassroots operations popping up all around the city as part of one of PPR’s urban agriculture initiatives.

Please note: Closed-toe shoes are recommended for this workshop.


  • Gain a better understanding of the three scales of recycling: Macro, Mezzo, and Micro
  • Learn about the three distinct strategies to reduce waste and grow the value of local resources
  • Learn from three different types of partners on their operations impact to equity, economy, and the environment

Tour Leaders

Marc Wilken

Director of Business and Event Development, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation