PAR Recycle Works: Improving Lives & the Environment


  • Mary Ann Boyer Boyer Sudduth Environmental Consultants
  • Harrison Lundy Amherst College


e-waste, reintegration, recidivism, employment opportunities


With over two million individuals incarcerated, the United States locks up more people per capita than any other nation in the world. The majority of these individuals are disproportionately from Black and Brown communities. In Philadelphia, 62.2% of individuals will be reincarcerated within three years of their release. How can we reverse this trend and ensure that life outside of prison does not lead to incarceration? Philadelphia’s People Advancing Reintegration (PAR) Recycle Works serves as a case study. PAR’s recidivism rate is a mere 5%, a striking contrast to the national rate of 68%. Since 2016, PAR has committed to operating a sustainable business that reflects the company’s values of social justice and environmental responsibility. PAR collects electronics or e-waste such as computers, printers, televisions, monitors, wires, batteries, and other electronic devices. PAR provides transitional employment to people returning from prison by training employees to collect, sort, and deconstruct e-waste. Employees also receive education in digital and financial literacy, conflict management, and mental health strategies. PAR also trains its employees about recycling e-waste. To date, PAR has diverted over one million pounds of e-waste from landfills. PAR has worked with over 200 supply partners who have donated e-waste or participated in community e-waste drives. From employees to the local community to the environment, PAR’s mission and its impact are felt around the city.

Author Biographies

Mary Ann Boyer, Boyer Sudduth Environmental Consultants

With over 30 years in the environmental field, Mary Ann Boyer is Co-Founder and Principal of Boyer Sudduth Environmental Consultants, where she works with businesses and educational institutions to craft sustainable solutions. Mary Ann earned her master's degree from Yale School of the Environment. After serving as a Presidential Management Fellow and environmental scientist with EPA (Region 3), Mary Ann taught high school, middle school, and lower school science for sixteen years. She has achieved the Garden Club of America's "Elizabeth Abernathy Hull Award'' for outstanding contributions to environmental education. Mary Ann received the 2017 Distinguished Service Award from Chestnut Hill Community Association in Philadelphia for her leadership in community tree planting efforts. Mary Ann has presented at national and regional conferences, including events by the National Business Officers Association, National Science Teachers Association, and Green Building United, among others.

Harrison Lundy, Amherst College

Harrison Lundy is a sophomore at Amherst College with majors in Political Science and Environmental Studies. He has interests in international climate policy, energy, and sustainability. In his past experience with the Georgetown Day School Policy Institute, Harrison studied environmental justice and explored sustainability solutions within the context of academic institutions.




How to Cite

Boyer, M. A., & Lundy, H. (2022). PAR Recycle Works: Improving Lives & the Environment . Social Innovations Journal, 15(5). Retrieved from



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