The Coca-Cola Company and The Coca-Cola Foundation, with the help of Keep America Beautiful, The Recycling Partnership and The Closed Loop Fund, will donate their 1 millionth recycling bin this month.
For the past 10 years, The Coca-Cola Foundation has supported an annual The Coca-Cola Foundation/Keep America Beautiful Public Space Recycling grant program, which has donated public space recycling bins to more than 1,000 communities across the country. The Coca-Cola Company and The Coca-Cola Foundation also have awarded grants to The Closed Loop Fund and The Recycling Partnership to help expand curbside recycling and provide recycling education to residents in more than 500 communities. Through these combined efforts more than 730 million pounds of recyclables have been diverted from landfills.
The latest round of bin grants support recycling in a variety of public spaces across the country, from festival locations to city parks to university campuses to downtown streets. In Rochester, N.Y., city officials expect to collect more than 8,000 pounds of additional recyclable materials during this summer’s “Party in the Park” and “Summer Soul” Festivals thanks to the addition of 60 more public recycling bins.
In Baltimore, 20 new recycling bins in business districts will serve the city’s anchor institutions, including the Maryland Institute College of Art, Johns Hopkins University, Union Memorial Hospital and Loyola University.
And the University of Arizona Tucson has added 220 new recycling bins in academic buildings to help meet stepped-up waste reduction goals on campus.
Community recycling programs like these support Coca-Cola’s global "World Without Waste” vision, which aims to collect and recycle a bottle or can for every one it sells by 2030.
Coca-Cola provides 150 recycling bins to the University of California San Diego for use on campus.
“While Coca-Cola and its partners have been working for decades to do our part to build more sustainable packaging and more effective recycling programs, it’s time to do more,” said Bruce Karas, vice president of sustainability, Coca-Cola North America. “The world has a packaging problem, and we like others have a responsibility to help solve it, so bottles and cans don’t end up in places where they don’t belong. That is why we have set a goal to help collect and recycle the equivalent of a can or bottle for every one we sell by 2030. The Coca-Cola Foundation and The Coca-Cola Company supported programs with Keep America Beautiful, The Recycling Partnership and The Closed Loop Fund, help improve recycling access, while also continuing to make progress towards our Coca-Cola System goal.”
The Coca-Cola Foundation/ Keep America Beautiful Public Space Recycling program addresses one of the primary barriers to recycling in public spaces – access and convenience. In addition to the grants, Keep America Beautiful provides technical guidance to grant recipients and organizations to help them set up effective, away-from-home and on-the-go recycling programs.
“To encourage people to recycle frequently, we need to make sure they have the proper bins available in as many locations as possible,” said Helen Lowman, president and CEO, Keep America Beautiful. “The support Coca-Cola has given us to continue with this grant program allows us to address this issue and create thousands of new opportunities for people to recycle in public areas across the country.”
Keep America Beautiful selects grant recipients based on their potential to collect the most cans and bottles as well other considerations such as the potential to leverage additional local investment in recycling infrastructure.
A full list of the 2017 The Coca-Cola Foundation/Keep America Beautiful Public Space Recycling bin grant recipients, as well as Keep America Beautiful’ s best practices guide, “Designing Effective Public Space Recycling Programs,” are available at http://bingrant.org.
A 2009 study conducted by Keep America Beautiful 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% of respondents said they recycle at home while only 41% indicated that they typically recycle in public spaces. In addition to providing more convenient opportunities to recycle, The Coca-Cola Foundation/Keep America Beautiful Public Space Recycling program helps eliminate confusion with sharply designed, and clearly labeled, bin designs and labels.