Keep America Beautiful’s 2018 America Recycles Day Heightens Awareness and Amplifies Benefits of Recycling
Through ARD, Keep America Beautiful, along with its community-based affiliates, ARD sponsors and partner organizations, inspires communities to directly engage their residents to recognize the economic, environmental and social benefits of recycling, and provide an educational platform to raise awareness about the value of reducing, reusing and recycling – every day – throughout the year.
Keep America Beautiful, and presenting sponsor Keurig Dr Pepper, conducted the “State of Recycling” Forum in Washington D.C. on ARD, which focused on the topic “Cleaning Up Recycling: Motivating Individuals to Recycle.”
The annual Forum, for the first time, featured a facilitated Town Hall Focus Group Panel of consumers who shared their views about the difficulties of recycling at home and on the go directly with industry leaders who play specific roles in each step of the recycling process. The group discussion included individual recyclers and nonrecyclers, MRF operators, haulers, recycling end-market and local government officials with recycling programs. Prior to the focus group panel, Wesley Schultz, Ph.D. Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, California State University, presented “Promoting Recycling Behavior: What Works.” Presentation slides and videos of the focus group sessions can be viewed here.
In addition, Keep America Beautiful President and CEO Helen Lowman was one of 44 U.S. recycling industry stakeholders who signed a pledge on ARD to “work together to build on our existing efforts to address the challenges facing our nation’s recycling system and identify solutions that create a more resilient materials economy and protect the environment.” The commitment was made at the inaugural U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Summit, “Building a More Resilient System Together,” hosted by Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.
As it has under Republican and Democratic Presidents throughout the history of ARD, The White House Office, through the Office of the Press Secretary, issued a formal statement to recognize the economic and environmental impact of recycling.
Keep America Beautiful’s ARD receives tremendous support from many industry associations who use ARD to heighten awareness about recycling stream contamination, among other issues pertinent to their constituents, as well as ARD sponsors and other major brands who announce new consumer-facing initiatives on ARD. For example, the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) served as a key organizer of the EPA Summit, and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) hosted a U.S. Senate Recycling Caucus briefing on Capitol Hill. And America Recycles Day sponsor International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) hosted Keep America Beautiful President and CEO Helen Lowman on its “H2O In the Know” podcast.
“Keep America Beautiful is greatly encouraged and pleased that so many Americans are stepping up and taking the challenge to be more mindful of what they consume, where and how to recycle properly, and pledging to recycle more and recycle right,” said Keep America Beautiful President and CEO Helen Lowman. “We’re also thankful to our many sponsors and partners whose direct support of America Recycles Day helps us educate our citizens – who are their consumers – about the importance of recycling to our economy and our country’s environmental well-being.”
Thousands of individuals took the #BeRecycled Pledge (online and at events), bringing the total pledge count (print and online) to over 270,000 since 2011. With the support of ARD sponsor Carton Council, eight percent of the people taking the pledge committed to recycle cartons in the first year carton pledges were measured.
Local organizations, including Keep America Beautiful’s national network of 611 community-based affiliates, governmental institutions, schools, businesses, faith-based organizations and other community partners, conducted thousands of educational workshops and recycling collection events across the country, encouraging nearly 2 million individuals to recycle.
In addition, here is a selection of creative ARD events and announcements that took place on and around Nov. 15:
Keep America Beautiful/Coca-Cola Public Spaces Recycling Bin Grant Program
Keep America Beautiful and The Coca-Cola Foundation announced the opening of the application period for the 2018 Public Spaces Recycling Bin Grant Program on ARD with applications being accepted through Dec. 30 (11:59 p.m. EST). More information about the program and how to apply can be found at bingrant.org.
Amazon e-Waste Collection Events
Dallas, Denver, Seattle and Washington, D.C.
In celebration of ARD, Amazon partnered with e-waste recycler ERI to conduct free electronic waste collection events in four cities, inviting residents to bring their old or unwanted television sets, computer monitors, cell phones, faxes, printers and other consumer electronics to event locations. Amazon also launched a new portal on ARD – Amazon Second Chance – to provide customers with an opportunity to recycle, repair and return devices.
Get off Your Glass
Keep Knoxville Beautiful hosted a major glass recycling event in which local residents could drop off glass bottles and jars from home to recycle at Bearden Beer Market and get a “thank you” beer from Sierra Nevada (when purchasing a pint) from the market, according to NBC affiliate WBIR.
Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful ARD Drop-Off Event
Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful, along with Gwinnett County Solid Waste Authority, hosted a major ARD drop-off event at Coolray Field with 1,600 participants. The lines were long, the results significant. See more here.
ACUA Open House
Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey
Atlantic Counties Utility Authority (ACUA) conducted an open house on Nov. 17 in celebration of ARD. Activities included a behind-the-scenes tour of the Recycling Center (ages 10 and up); Touch-A-Truck, featuring the line of ACUA trucks; recycling games; and a visit from ACUA’s mascot, Supercan!
Keep America Beautiful is pleased to lead this effort to heighten awareness of the benefits of recycling and appreciated the nearly 5,000 media mentions that occurred during the primary period of the program.
Sponsors of this year’s America Recycles Day include American Chemistry Council, Carton Council, H&M, International Bottled Water Association (IBWA), Keurig Dr Pepper, Merrell and Northrop Grumman.
About Keep America Beautiful
Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s iconic community improvement nonprofit organization, inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. Celebrating its 65th Anniversary in 2018, Keep America Beautiful strives to End Littering, Improve Recycling and Beautify America’s Communities. We believe everyone has a right to live in a clean, green and beautiful community, and shares a responsibility to contribute to that vision.
Behavior change – steeped in education, research and behavioral science – is the cornerstone of Keep America Beautiful. We empower generations of community and environmental stewards with volunteer programs, hands-on experiences, educational curricula, practical advice and other resources. The organization is driven by the work and passion of more than 600 Keep America Beautiful affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the collaborative support of corporate partners, social and civic service organizations, academia, municipalities, elected officials, and individuals. Join us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Donate and take action at kab.org.