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Natural Awakenings Philadelphia

The Pennsylvania Resource Council

Grassroots Sustainability in Action

The Pennsylvania Resource Council (PRC) maintains a multitude of services and projects in the community with a volunteer program for residents to get involved. These include Cans for Pets; Multi-Family Residences Recycling (MFRR); and the Let’s Clear the Air Poster Challenge.

Cans for Pets aids shelter animals nationwide through responsible recycling together with the Alcoa Foundation. For every aluminum pet food can recycled, five cents are donated to a local shelter. These funds help dogs, cats and other animals stay comfortable and healthy until they find their forever homes. They provide medical care, food and adoption support; helping homeless animals while benefiting our environment. Since its launch in November 2012, Cans for Pets has facilitated the recycling of more than 300,000 aluminum pet food cans across the U.S., keeping more than 6,000 pounds of aluminum out of landfills.

PRC is working with 15 multi-family residential units throughout the greater Pittsburgh area to improve their recycling programs and decrease the amount of waste sent to local landfills. Multifamily residential units, including senior housing, student housing, low-income housing and traditional housing, often fall between regulatory cracks, especially when it comes to recycling. PRC is addressing this problem by providing recycling bins, educational materials and informational workshops to residents. As recycling programs improve and become more convenient, the materials sent to landfills will decrease and instead be kept in circulation through recycling.

The Let’s Clear the Air Poster Challenge, a collaboration between the Southwest PA Air Quality Partnership and the PRC, is now in its 10th year. The goal is for students to learn about the effects of air pollution, how to reduce their exposure and encourage action through a poster campaign promoting clean air and alternative transportation. All public, parochial and private schools in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington and Westmoreland counties are eligible to participate.

The contest is open to teachers of all disciplines, and winners announced in early April Prizes include a school assembly professional magic show, bicycles, $50 gift certificates from an outdoor recreation store and $50 certificates for school supplies. The top two posters from each of three categories will be displayed in public venues across Southwestern Pennsylvania. The posters must be submitted by March 1; for details, see

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