Philly inmates are getting college certificates while reducing food waste - Generocity Philly

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Oct. 20, 2016 8:04 am

Philly inmates are getting college certificates while reducing food waste

A program at Philadelphia Prison System's Holmesburg work site has inmates earning a certificate in organic agriculture, producing high quality compost for local gardens — and saving the city a boatload on landfill fees.

A moist pile of compost.

(Photo by Flickr user Lindsay, used under a Creative Commons license)

Programs that reduce recidivism rates are great and much-needed. Programs that can reduce recidivism rates while making an impact outside of reentry are even better.

That’s what’s happening at Philadelphia Prison System’s (PPS) Holmesburg work site, where inmates are earning organic agriculture certificates from Temple University by turning the 685 tons of food waste the prison generates per year into high-quality compost.

All that compost gets distributed to community gardens throughout the city, according to a story in Civil Eats. Oh, and it’s saved the city $31,000 per year in landfill fees.

Philadelphia’s Prison System is Fighting Food Waste and Recidivism with an Organic Farm

It’s a scalable and replicable program, one that earned Department of Prisons’ Sustainability Manager Laura Cassidy a Dilworth Award last month.

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