Wistar Recycling to Benefit John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge

Wistar Recycling to Benefit John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge

December 13, 2006

(PHILADELPHIA – December 14, 2006) – Like other workplaces across the country, The Wistar Institute regularly disposes of many used printer, fax, and copier cartridges. Nationally, more than 1.5 million such cartridges go to landfills each month, and it is estimated that the plastic in these cartridges may take more than 1,000 years to decompose. Beginning earlier this month, however, Wistar initiated an innovative project to recycle these cartridges, expanding the Institute’s existing recycling program.

The effort aims to protect the environment in two ways: first, by lessening the amount of difficult-to-decompose trash being sent to regional landfills and, second, by generating cash to support the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum. The project established Wistar as the refuge’s first corporate sponsor.

Spearheaded by environmental health and safety manager Bob Rovinsky and facilities manager Ted Suchodolski, the new project collects used cartridges (and cell phones) to be sent to a recycling center in return for cash to support educational and other programs at the refuge. A collection receptacle is now located on the ground floor near shipping and receiving, and all Wistar employees are encouraged to contribute appropriate materials for recycling. It is not necessary to box any of the items.

The John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, administered by the Department of Interior's U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is located in Philadelphia and Delaware Counties, Pennsylvania, adjacent to Interstate 95 about one mile from the Philadelphia International Airport.

Originally known as Tinicum Marsh, the refuge was established by an act of Congress in 1972 to protect the last 200 acres of freshwater tidal marsh in Pennsylvania and has been enlarged in subsequent years to nearly 1,000 acres of woods, ponds, marsh, and meadow. In 1991, the refuge was renamed as the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum to honor the late U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania who helped preserve Tinicum Marsh. Today, the refuge is a resting and feeding area for more than 280 species of birds, 80 of which nest there. Fox, deer, muskrat, turtles, fish, frogs, and a wide variety of wildflowers and plants also live at the refuge.

Since its establishment, the refuge has worked with local students and teachers in the surrounding school districts to provide environmental education. Over 6,000 students participate in field trips at the refuge each year. The Cusano Environmental Education Center at the refuge features exhibits on Tinicum Marsh, wetlands, watersheds, citizen action, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and offers a resource library, classrooms for study, and public meeting space. The Cusano Center itself is a demonstration project for sustainable design, featuring energy efficient lighting, heat, and cooling; recycled materials such as flooring made from used tires, beams left over from logging operations, and decking made from recycled plastic bottles; reduced water use technologies and rainwater harvesting; and native-plants landscaping.

Bob Rovinsky is available to answer questions about Wistar’s recycling program. He can be reached at 215-898-3712 or rrovinsky@wistar.org. For more information about the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, please visit http://www.fws.gov/northeast/heinz.

The Wistar Institute is an international leader in biomedical research, with special expertise in cancer research and vaccine development. Founded in 1892 as the first independent nonprofit biomedical research institute in the country, Wistar has long held the prestigious Cancer Center designation from the National Cancer Institute. Discoveries at Wistar have led to the creation of the rubella vaccine that eradicated the disease in the U.S., rabies vaccines used worldwide, and a new rotavirus vaccine approved in 2006. Wistar scientists have also identified many cancer genes and developed monoclonal antibodies and other important research tools. Today, Wistar is home to eminent melanoma researchers and pioneering scientists working on experimental vaccines against flu, HIV, and other diseases. The Institute works actively to transfer its inventions to the commercial sector to ensure that research advances move from the laboratory to the clinic as quickly as possible. The Wistar Institute: Today’s Discoveries – Tomorrow’s Cures. On the web at www.wistar.org.