September 26, 2013

Keep America Beautiful Introduces Suite of Resources for Businesses and Organizations to Encourage Recycling in the Workplace

New Recycling at Work Website Offers Pledge-Takers Recycling Bin Discounts, Online Tools

 

Keep America Beautiful’s Recycling at Work initiative, designed to encourage businesses, organizations and institutions around the country to pledge to increase workplace recycling, has launched a new website (RecyclingatWork.org) that features a host of tools and resources, including recycling bin discounts.

By taking the Recycling at Work pledge, entities can receive an exclusive 15 percent discount when ordering recycling bins from Recycle Away and Busch Systems, and can access valuable resources ranging from recycling best practices to employee engagement activities to customizable promotional materials.

Recycling at Work is a joint Clinton Global Initiative commitment between KAB and Alcoa Foundation, one of the funders of the program, to increase U.S. recycling rates. Keep America Beautiful is soliciting businesses and other organizations to pledge to a 10 percent increase in the recycling of beverage containers, paper products, electronics and other commonly generated recyclable materials found in the workplace.  Counted among KAB’s nearly 150 pledge partners to date are Clorox, City of Missouri City and Keep Phoenix Beautiful, among others.

“In partnership with Keep America Beautiful, Alcoa Foundation is excited to sponsor Recycling at Work to help promote sustainable practices in the workplace,” said Tricia Napor, vice president, Alcoa Foundation. “Alcoa is committed to increasing U.S. recycling rates to 75 percent by 2015 and supporting workplace recycling helps advance this goal.”

Recycling at Work is guided by a hand-picked advisory council, comprised of government officials, sustainability experts and nonprofit partners of KAB.

The potential for increasing recycling in the workplace has long been evident to Recycling at Work advisory council member Brad Molotsky, executive vice president and general counsel for Brandywine Realty Trust in Radnor, Penn.

“Based on workplace waste audits we have conducted, we learned that up to 90 percent of the material being put in the trash is easily recyclable,” said Molotsky. “By making some infrastructure improvements along with educating employees, we have achieved a recycling rate of over 70 percent for our office-generated waste.  KAB’s Recycling at Work initiative, which provides tools and shares best practices, will provide much-needed support to office building owners, operators and tenants to increase recycling at work.” 

“Recycling at Work offers immense value to local and city governments who might not have the budget to build their own office recycling initiative,” said Pete Chism of the City of Portland, Oregon’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. “For existing programs, Recycling at Work provides a unique opportunity to renew an organization’s commitment to recycling and provides valuable tools to augment what is already in place.”

The focus on employee engagement separates Recycling at Work from similar initiatives.

“We know that social norms drive human behavior, and we believe that helping businesses and organizations weave recycling into company culture will lead to more recycling in the workplace,” said Brenda Pulley, KAB senior vice president of recycling. “Keep America Beautiful is dedicated to increasing recycling rates. To make meaningful progress, we need to concentrate on recycling not just at home, but also at work, at school and on the go.”

“Microsoft is keen to work with the Recycling at Work challenge to help organizations understand the choices they can make to reuse and recycle their used electronics,” said Sean Nicholson, OEM 3R (Redesign, Reduce, Recycle) program manager, Microsoft.

Businesses interested in taking the Recycling at Work pledge are encouraged to attend a webinar on Wednesday, Oct. 9. The session will offer ways to promote recycling in the workplace and to celebrate the pledge as part of America Recycles Day, which takes place on and around Nov. 15. America Recycles Day, an initiative of KAB, is the only day dedicated to a national celebration of recycling. To take the Recycling at Work pledge or attend the upcoming webinar, visit RecyclingatWork.org.

Industry leaders Microsoft, through its Greener IT Challenge, and Alcoa Foundation are proud to make Recycling at Work possible.

About Alcoa Foundation
Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S., with assets of approximately $460 million. Founded 60 years ago, Alcoa Foundation has invested more than $570 million since 1952. In 2012, Alcoa Foundation contributed more than $21 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the world, building innovative partnerships to improve the environment and educate tomorrow’s leaders for careers in manufacturing and engineering. The work of Alcoa Foundation is further enhanced by Alcoa’s thousands of employee volunteers who share their talents and time to make a difference in the communities where Alcoa operates. Through the Company’s signature Month of Service program, in 2012, a record 60 percent of Alcoa employees took part in more than 1,050 events across 24 countries, benefiting more than 450,000 people and 2,050 nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit alcoafoundation.com and follow @AlcoaFoundation on Twitter.
 
About Keep America Beautiful
Keep America Beautiful is the nation’s leading nonprofit that brings people together to build and sustain vibrant communities. With a network of more than 1,200 affiliate and participating organizations including state recycling organizations, we work with millions of volunteers to take action in their communities. Keep America Beautiful offers solutions that create clean, beautiful public places, reduce waste and increase recycling, generate positive impact on local economies and inspire generations of environmental stewards. Through our programs and public-private partnerships, we engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community’s environment. For more information, visit kab.org.

About Recycling at Work
Recycling at Work is a national voluntary initiative challenging businesses, government agencies, schools, hospitals and other institutions to commit to increase workplace recycling by 10 percent. By taking the pledge and becoming a Pledge Partner, businesses and organizations can access special recycling bin discounts, free tools and other resources to help them increase recycling, encourage employee participation, and earn recognition for their actions. Recycling at Work is led by Keep America Beautiful in partnership with the Alcoa Foundation as part of their Clinton Global Initiative Commitment. For more information, visit recyclingatwork.org.