Who would have thought that taking the trash out could be something people take pride in? We’ve found that when you reach out to people and help them do the right thing, they feel a sense of ownership and gladly participate in the ongoing effort to build a sustainable future.
Central Park Conservancy
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Alcoa’s New York office participated in a volunteer event in New York’s Central Park and saw that the recycling bins were made of plastic. Chairman and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld challenged the Central Park Conservancy to manufacture new bins made out of sustainable material. That was the beginning of the Waste Management and Recycling Container Replacement Program, an innovative partnership between Alcoa and Central Park Conservancy. The program aspires to reduce the total volume of consumer waste in the part and improve efficiency – as well as sustainability – by using strategically placed waste and recycling containers made out of recycled aluminum donated by Alcoa.
With 38 million visitors each year, this New York icon is the most visited public park in the world and sets the tone for public spaces everywhere. By improving the park visitor experience, we aim to positively influence behavior and attitudes towards recycling, while keeping Central Park clean and beautiful at the same time.
Défi On Recycle
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As part of a three-year collaboration between the Alcoa Foundation and the Chambre de Commerce de Becancour in Québec (Canada), an expert sustainability advisor is working with local enterprises to develop and implement waste management and recycling plans. These consulting services are being offered, free of charge, to small- and medium-sized businesses in two native Canadian communities in the Bécancour region.
The project shows how important public interest in recycling can be. It was initiated after the local Chamber of Commerce held a public event on sustainability. Many businesses, from manufacturing to retail, requested more resources, information and training to help them in their own recycling efforts. The partnership will reach 150 businesses and impact more than 3,000 employees and local citizens. By the end of 2013, a third of the businesses in the two communities are expected to receive the highest certification for properly managing 80% of their waste.
Keep America Beautiful
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Encouraging recycling takes creativity and the ability to find the best answer for each individual need, whether it’s getting commitment from corporate leadership, developing strategies, putting actual containers in place or encouraging recycling at a grass-roots level. That’s why Alcoa Foundation has an ongoing relationship with Keep America Beautiful that includes four unique programs designed to increase the recycling rates in the U.S.
With support from Alcoa Foundation, Keep America Beautiful developed a business pledge for companies and non-profits to commit to incorporating recycling and waste reduction in the workplace.
A joint program brings robust recycling programs to state and county fairs across the country. With the initial phase involving government, fair officials, and operators in three venues, Keep America Beautiful will develop best practices and approaches to recycling that can be applied at events nationally.
Alcoa Foundation will contribute recycling bins to 15 universities to increase awareness and access for students. More than 1,500 public space bins and 12,500 recycling bins in dorms will be donated to support recycling infrastructure.
Alcoa Foundation supports Keep America Beautiful’s RecycleMania, an eight-week competition amongst universities. Schools compete in 11 categories to see who can recycle the most paper, cardboard, cans, bottles, and food waste on a per capita basis, who can produce the least amount of waste, and who recycles the largest percentage of their overall waste stream. Six hundred universities and more than 6,000,000 students and staff participated in 2012, recycling or composting 94 million pounds of materials.
Don’t Waste It. Recycle It.
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This two-year partnership between the Alcoa Foundation, Alcoa of Australia and the Waste Reduction Group will increase recycling across Portland, Victoria’s public spaces, schools, and business district. Recycling containers will be installed at the Botanic Gardens, Maritime Museum, beaches, the skate park and basketball stadium with a goal of diverting a minimum of 5.5 tons of recyclables from the waste stream.
The containers are just one part of the initiative to help make the community on the south coast of Australia more sustainable. Public outreach and education will help ensure correct usage of the recycling infrastructure and encourage the community to recycle at home, at school and at work.