August 1, 2013

Keep America Beautiful, Alcoa Foundation Team Up with State and County Fairs to Launch Major Recycling Initiative

When the 2013 Indiana State Fair and county fairs in Virginia and Washington open in August, fairgoers and vendors will be introduced to a brand new recycling initiative. The Indiana State Fair Commission (Aug. 2-18), the Arlington County Fair (Aug. 7-11) in Virginia and the Kitsap County Fair and Stampede (Aug. 21 -25) in Washington have partnered with Keep America Beautiful (KAB) and Alcoa Foundation to increase waste reduction, recycling and composting through the strategic placement of recycling bins across their respective fairgrounds.
 
The three fairs have been selected to receive grant funding from Alcoa Foundation to fund additional recycling bins, technical and communications tools, support and training, and the identification of cost-effective practices, all managed by national nonprofit KAB. Keep America Beautiful is also partnering with local groups at each fair to provide an accompanying educational booth, designed to raise awareness about the environmental and economic impact of recycling.
 
The initiative in Indiana will include the placement of nearly 60 new, well-marked recycling bins and new instructional wraps for 25 existing bins located throughout public spaces on the fairgrounds. There will be more than 300 green plastic bins provided to the 150 participating vendors, as well as 20 new wheeled bins to move vendor materials. The Kitsap County Fair is providing 20 temporary public space bins for recycling, and Alcoa Foundation will fund an additional 30 new bins for fairgoers, including five for composting, and 40, 65-gallon wheeled recycling carts for concessionaires to use. The Arlington County Fair will have more than 100 bins on hand for recycling, including 25 wheeled carts provided by Alcoa Foundation for on-site vendors to use to recycle and 25 public space bins.
 
“Our team is very excited to be sharing our expertise at these state and county fairs,” said Kelley Dennings, senior director of recycling, KAB. “Events of this size and nature can generate enormous amounts of waste. This enhanced focus on recycling will ensure a significant decrease in that waste. We also anticipate that the awareness generated will ensure long-term recycling habits in the hundreds of thousands of people who attend.”
 
“We’re proud to partner with Keep America Beautiful and support sustainability efforts at these upcoming fairs,” said Tricia Napor, principal manager environmental partnerships, Alcoa Foundation. “Fairs are exceptional venues to influence recycling behaviors for people of all ages. We expect to educate and motivate over 1 million fairgoers, demonstrating that recycling is a viable component of public events that can be incorporated into other similar events across the country.”
 
Well over a dozen tons of cardboard and metal will be generated at the fairs. Metal – particularly that in aluminum cans – is especially desirable as a recyclable material, as it can be recycled an infinite number of times. It takes only a fraction of the energy to make aluminum products from recycled materials than when starting from raw materials. As the world’s leading producer of primary and fabricated aluminum, Alcoa and Keep America Beautiful partnered in 2012 on this unique Clinton Global Initiative to improve recycling and waste reduction at state and county fairs.
 
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 and follow @kabtweet on Twitter.