The program is funded through a $300,000 grant from The Coca-Cola Foundation to Keep America Beautiful, which distributes the funding through a merit-based application process. Since 2007, nearly 900 organizations including schools, local governments and related municipal agencies, colleges and universities, and other community groups have received grants providing more than 45,000 recycling bins. More than 1.5 million people now have daily access to public space recycling bins provided through the program for use at locations such as streetscapes and playgrounds, athletic fields, fairs and festivals, K-12 school grounds, and college and university residence halls.
“A result of modern America’s on-the-go lifestyle is increased consumption of single-serve beverage containers and other recyclables away from home,” said Brenda Pulley, senior vice president, recycling, Keep America Beautiful. “Through our partnership with The Coca-Cola Foundation, we’re providing more communities with recycling bins where these items are consumed in public places – thereby capturing recyclables that would otherwise end up in the landfill or be littering our roadways, waterways and beautiful spaces.”
The 2016 program is expected to award more than 5,300 recycling bins and result in an estimated 1 million pounds of recyclable materials collected during their first year in use.
“At Coca-Cola, sustainability is engraved in everything that we do. Through partnerships with Keep America Beautiful and this Public Space Recycling Bin Grant program, we are able to help communities across the country improve recycling, reduce waste and have positive impact by making it more convenient for people to participate in the act of recycling,” said Lori George Billingsley, vice president, community relations, Coca-Cola North America.
Eligible recipients for the 2016 Coca-Cola Public Space Recycling Bin Grant Program include government agencies, colleges and universities, civic organizations, public and private pre-K through 12 schools and local nonprofit groups throughout the United States. Leveraging the program to further expand recycling in public spaces, preference will be given to applicants that agree to make a matching purchase of additional recycling bins beyond those awarded through the grant. Keep America Beautiful will announce the grant award recipients in November 2016, and make arrangements with suppliers to deliver bins directly to the recipients.
Research conducted by Keep America Beautiful in 2009 showed only 12 percent of surveyed public locations had infrastructure to recover recyclable items. This lack of recycling opportunities is reflected in a separate national survey conducted for Keep America Beautiful in 2013, in which 92 percent of respondents said they recycle at home while only 19 percent indicated that they typically recycle in public parks. In addition to grant funding, Keep America Beautiful provides technical best practice guidance to grant recipients and organizations about setting up effective away-from-home and on-the-go recycling programs. “Planning for Success: Ten Tips for Designing Public Space Recycling Programs” can be downloaded free-of-charge at KAB.org.
About Keep America Beautiful
At Keep America Beautiful, we want to ensure that beauty is our lasting signature. A leading national nonprofit, Keep America Beautiful inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. We envision a country in which every community is a clean, green, and beautiful place to live. Established in 1953, Keep America Beautiful provides the expertise, programs and resources to help people End Littering, Improve Recycling, and Beautify America’s Communities. The organization is driven by the work and passion of more than 620 state and community-based Keep America Beautiful affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the support of corporate partners, municipalities, elected officials, and individuals.
About The Coca-Cola Foundation
The Coca-Cola Foundation is the global philanthropic arm of The Coca-Cola Company. Since its inception in 1984, the Foundation has awarded more than $820 million in grants to support sustainable community initiatives around the world. For more information about The Coca-Cola Foundation, please visit www.coca-colagivingback.com.