Recycling Initiative


MarketPlace PHL, LLC in conjunction with the City of Philadelphia work to make recycling a priority at PHL.

Philadelphia Marketplace at PHL has operated recycling programs since it began developing the retail and food & shops program in 1998. Today, the recycling and energy efficiency initiatives include “single stream” recycling of cardboard, glass, aluminum, plastic and clean paper; processing of used fryer oil into bio-diesel fuel; and converting some common area lighting to high-efficiency LED lamps. Each restaurant and retail location within PHL has recycling receptacles enabling them to participate. The concessions program at PHL also introduced trash receptacles equipped to make recycling easy for passengers and employees in all food court areas throughout the airport.

The Recycling Program update in 2017:

  • Philadelphia Marketplace “single stream” recycling remains its most significant “green” program. Single stream recycling means that all recyclable materials including cardboard, glass, aluminum, plastic and clean paper are sent out “commingled” (instead of sorted) and are then sorted and processed by the waste hauler for further processing as recyclable commodities. For the calendar year 2016, Philadelphia Marketplace recycled 620 tons of single-stream recyclable materials, and 19.1% of waste was diverted from landfills to recycling facilities. This generated $54,477 in recycling rebates and disposal cost savings.
  • Philadelphia Marketplace works with Waste Oil Recyclers, Inc., a locally based processor that collects used fryer oil and refines it for future use as biodiesel fuel. In 2016, Waste Oil Recyclers collected 10,784 gallons of used fryer oil and processed it into 8,627 gallons of bio-diesel fuel, representing $23,064 in savings from eliminated disposal costs and recycling rebates. According to Waste Oil Recyclers, converting 10,000 gallons of used fryer oil into biodiesel is equivalent to planting 10,000 trees or saving 15 tons of trash from landfills.
  • In 2016, Philadelphia Marketplace continued the use of long-lasting, energy-efficient LED light bulbs in place of approximately 400 tungsten-halogen “blade-signs” light bulbs. This contributed $8,400 in electricity savings. MarketPlace also converted from tungsten to LEDs most of the lighting in the Retail Merchandising Unit (RMU) carts, as well as a set of 93 spotlights in the B/C Food Court and 106 soffit lights in the D/E Connector. LED light bulbs are more energy efficient and longer-lasting, whereas traditional tungsten halogen light bulbs need to be changed every three to four months. These LED light bulbs save $30,720 in electricity costs annually.
  • MarketPlace personnel make it a point to put recyclable scrap metal in a bin for removal and recycling. No formal tally on this recycled scrap metal is kept, but it is estimated to be in the range of two to three tons annually.
  • MarketPlace periodically ships out spent fluorescent light bulbs, at a small cost, for responsible recycling. By doing so, the mercury in each lamp is not deposited in landfills.
  • MarketPlace facilitates the re-use of wooden pallets that are used mostly by food vendors for their deliveries to food merchants. Empty pallets are stacked at two loading dock facilities after use; some pallets are then collected by the vendors, but many other pallets are collected by a jobber who makes minor repairs to the pallets and then resells them to other users. Although there is no specific count of re-used pallets, 3,500 pallets are estimated to be re-used.
  • Over the years, the Philadelphia Marketplace has facilitated the recycling of electronic waste items. These items include POS (cash register) systems comprised of computers, monitors, and printers. There are also old telephones and miscellaneous electronic devices. In 2016, Philadelphia Marketplace collected and responsibly recycled 500 pounds of electronic waste.

Taken together, these initiatives have averaged over $110,00 in combined savings every year for six years, while underscoring Philadelphia Marketplace’s commitment to responsible environmental stewardship!

In addition to the initiates above, the following retail locations carry products that are made from recycled materials OR have initiatives that support the effort to be sustainably responsible. Passengers and employees at PHL are encouraged to visit each location and purchase an eco-friendly item:

  • Au Bon Pain reduces waste through reuse and recycling, and by purchasing recycled and recyclable products (napkins, coffee sleeves, plates, paper bags, etc.), or products and materials that can be refurbished where these alternatives are available, economical, and suitable. Au Bon Pain also created and executed an energy savings program called “A Better Planet” which outlined procedures that can reduce the amount of electricity, energy, food and water used at the cafes. Locations include Terminals A-West, C, E, and F.
  • Chickie’s & Pete’s uses the Restaurant Technologies, Inc. (RTI) cooking oil replenishment system. In addition to providing tools to reduce oil use, RTI’s sophisticated oil delivery and management system eliminates the cardboard and plastic containers used in traditional oil packaging. RTI also recycles waste oil for bio-diesel fuels and other eco-friendly uses. Locations include Terminals A-West, C, D, & E.
  • Gap offers paperless receipts. Located in the B/C Connector.
  • Paradies Shops – CNBC News Read & Return Program allows passengers to: Buy a book, Read it, Return it within six months of purchase with a receipt, and Receive 50% of the purchase price back! The program is good on all books, hardcover or paperback. Books that are returned in good condition are then resold at half price.
  • Roster stores are lit with high efficiency LED bulbs that will approach 80% efficiency, which means 80% of the electrical energy is converted to light energy, unlike an incandescent bulb which only has 20% efficiency. From flooring to fixtures, Roster uses renewable resources whenever possible and does so throughout all areas of construction of their retail spaces. Often times Roster works to maintain a former store’s basic structure integrity to reuse the resources and not add to landfills. Located in the B/C Connector.
  • Airport Wireless/Tech Interaction/Tech Showcase carries recycled products including Bob Marley headphones, ear buds, speakers, and more. Locations include Terminal B, C and the D/E Connector.
  • The Body Shop supplies shampoos and conditioners made from all natural ingredients. Packaging is made from 100% recycled material. Located in the B/C Connector.