Recycle DSM (Des Moines), a partnership between the City of Des Moines, Iowa, and Operation Downtown, added 42 new recycling bins for the City’s Downtown. The new bins, which were provided by a Coca-Cola/Keep America Beautiful Public Space Recycling Bin Grant, are placed in the Historic East Village and the Western Gateway.

Recycle DSM aims to create a cleaner and greener Downtown Des Moines. The program began in October with eight receptacles in the Historic East Village and has now expanded to 50 bins. The City of Des Moines Public Works Department has also provided additional investment to expand Recycle DSM, in addition to the Coca-Cola/Keep America Beautiful recycling bin grant to Operation Downtown.

“The Recycle DSM program aligns with the City of Des Moines’ comprehensive plan called PlanDSM, which calls for the reduction of solid waste headed to the landfill,” said Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie. “We are grateful to the Coca-Cola/Keep America Beautiful Recycling Bin Grant Program, which is making this significant expansion possible.”

The Recycle DSM program builds off of existing efforts that include cigarette butt recycling through Operation Downtown and recycling at various Downtown events, in addition to efforts by residential and commercial property owners to offer recycling options to their residents and employees. The expansion of the existing program extends recycling from the residential and commercial to the public realm.

In addition to the recycling bins, sidewalk art installed throughout East Village and Western Gateway encourages residents and Downtown workers and visitors to recycle. The art includes phrases such as “Eat.Drink.Recycle.” and “The future is in your hands — Recycle DSM.”

“A greener Downtown makes this a more attractive place for residents, workers and visitors,” said Tiffany Tauscheck, Chief Communications Officer for the Downtown Community Alliance, which manages Operation Downtown. “We encourage Downtown Des Moines patrons to use these receptacles to help keep Downtown Des Moines clean, safe and beautiful.”

The Coca Cola/Keep America Beautiful Recycling Bin Grant Program addresses one of the primary barriers to recycling in public spaces by making access to recycling bins more readily available and convenient. In total, the Coca-Cola/Keep America Beautiful Recycling Bin Grant Program will provide 3,522 recycling bins to colleges and universities, along with 996 bins to local governments and nonprofit organizations during the 2016-2017 grant cycle. The recycling bins are made possible through a grant from The Coca Cola Foundation, the philanthropic arm of The Coca-Cola Company.

“The number one thing we can do to get people to recycle is make it convenient,” said Brenda Pulley, senior vice president, recycling, Keep America Beautiful. “With Coca-Cola’s continued support, the grant program addresses that need by creating thousands of new opportunities for people to recycle in public areas across the country.”

“At Coca-Cola, we are working with partners across the country to invest in, and support a strong recycling system,” said Bruce Karas, vice president of sustainability, Coca-Cola North America. “Through partnerships like the Keep America Beautiful Recycling Bin Grant program, we can help reduce overall waste by making it even easier and more convenient for people to recycle both at home and in public spaces.”  

“We are pleased to be a part of this very important program,” said Kirk Tyler, Chairman and CEO of Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Company, a privately owned, independent bottler and distributor of Coca-Cola products for nearly all of Iowa, as well as parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Missouri. “An investment in Downtown Des Moines is an investment in Greater Des Moines, and it is our hope that these receptacles will be utilized by residents, employees and visitors alike as they enjoy Downtown.”

A full list of the Coca-Cola/Keep America Beautiful Recycling Bin Grant recipients, as well as Keep America Beautiful’s best practices guide, “Designing Effective Public Space Recycling Programs,” are available at

Learn more about RecycleDSM at

Photo above: Leaders from Keep America Beautiful, Coca-Cola, Atlantic Bottling Company, the City of Des Moines, Operation Downtown and the Downtown Community Alliance announce the expansion of Recycle DSM in Downtown Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo courtesy of Downtown Community Alliance)