Though it is the most recycled package on earth, we are
still losing more than 40 billion cans a year in U.S. landfills. Help preserve our planet by recycling. Don't
know where to recycle? Use our locator: http://www.alcoa.com/recycling/en/recycling.asp
Alcoa Foundation is partnering with New York City and the Times Square Alliance to debut BigBelly Solar waste and recycling stations, the largest recycling program in Times Square. BigBelly stations channel solar energy to compact garbage on-site and hold five times the capacity of traditional sidewalk receptacles. Not only will this partnership promote recycling and sanitation in one of the busiest neighborhoods in the world, it will also reduce transportation and labor costs for New York City, as the bins do not need to be emptied as frequently, curbing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent.
A grant of $250,000 from Alcoa Foundation paid for the installment of 30 high-tech BigBelly stations in Times Square for two years. During that time, the bins are expected to capture and recycle 650,000 pounds of aluminum and 2.6 million pounds of other recyclable material. Times Square has between 350,000 to 450,000 visitors pass through on foot every day.
This is the first large-scale, public-private on street recycling program in NYC. Alcoa Foundation hopes that cities around the world copy this initiative, leading to an increased rate of recycled aluminum cans.
On March 15, 2013, Mayor Bloomberg and Klaus Kleinfeld were joined by NYC’s Department of Sanitation Commissioner John J. Doherty, Times Square Alliance President Tim Tompkins, and BigBelly Solar CEO Jim Norrod to unveil the first of the BigBelly stations during a press conference and ribbon cutting ceremony in Times Square.
“The U.S. lags behind the rest of the world on recycling rates. We believe that once people know that aluminum is infinitely recyclable and that by recycling, they are saving massive amounts of energy and money, they recycle more,” says Paula Davis, President of Alcoa Foundation. “There is no better place to run an awareness campaign than Times Square, the heart of New York City, where millions of people come every year. Alcoa and Alcoa Foundation’s goal is encourage visitors to making recycling second nature.”
This program is part of Alcoa Foundation’s 2012 Clinton Global Initiative commitment to put $2 million towards innovative recycling programs in the U.S. to help reach the aluminum industry’s goal of 75% beverage can recycling rate from our current rate of 53%. More
Alcoa Foundation and Keep America Beautiful Help Students Recycle
Foundation Provides More Than 11,500 Recycling Bins for Campus Initiatives
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Alcoa Foundation is partnering with Keep America Beautiful and the College & University Recycling Coalition to provide more than 11,500 recycling bins to 35 colleges and universities throughout the United States. These recycling bins will help to expand on-campus recycling programs and raise awareness about the environmental impact of recycling.
The Alcoa Foundation Recycling Bin Grant Program was created to help schools boost their recycling results during the eight-week RecycleMania tournament, and strengthen their recycling efforts by reaching more than 300,000 students, staff, faculty, and campus visitors throughout the year. RecycleMania, which concludes on March 31, is a competition that aims to change behavior about recycling and raise awareness about waste reduction programs on college campuses.
“We’re proud to partner with Keep America Beautiful and the College & University Recycling Coalition to provide more than 11,500 recycling bins to college and university campuses,” said Paula Davis, President, Alcoa Foundation. “The recycling bin grant program reinforces Alcoa and Alcoa Foundation’s commitment to increasing recycling rates in the U.S. to 75 percent by 2015.”
“Alcoa Foundation has been a true leader in advancing recycling nationwide through its recycling bin grant and other programs,” said Matthew M. McKenna, President and CEO, Keep America Beautiful. “Its involvement with RecycleMania and the College and University Recycling Coalition’s webinar series has helped to increase recycling on campuses and instill a recycling ethic that college students will carry with them the rest of their lives.”
The grantees will each receive between 100 and 1,500 recycling bins in different on-campus settings – student housing and academic buildings, athletic facilities, administrative offices and in outdoor public spaces. This year’s variety of recycling bins has enabled selected schools to install additional recycling infrastructure where they need it most in an effort to divert recyclables from the waste stream.
The Alcoa Foundation Recycling Bin Grant Program recipients are:
Additionally, the College & University Recycling Coalition (CURC), in partnership with Keep America Beautiful (KAB) and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), has announced the schedule for its 2013 series of educational webinars, sponsored by Alcoa Foundation. CURC webinars feature recognized collegiate and industry recycling experts covering a range of topics related to sustainable materials management. All webinars are free to registered participants. For a complete schedule of webinars, go to curc3r.org.
About Alcoa Foundation Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S., with assets of approximately US$460 million. Founded 60 years ago, Alcoa Foundation has invested more than US$570 million since 1952. In 2012, Alcoa Foundation contributed more than US$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 www.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.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced this week that the city was expanding its residential recycling program to include 130,000 more households this March and April. The additional households served by the Windy City's recycling program are part of a greater expansion of 340,000 households, to be completed later this year.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors and Novelis, the giant aluminum producer, have decided to end the Cash for Cans City Recycling Challenge. The joint aluminum can collection project issued about $450,000 in contest prizes over nearly a decade. The two parties cited waning interest in the contest among local governments over the past three years, due in part to budget constraints at many cities.
The Beer Store, the primary alcohol retailer in Ontario that also collects the packaging for beer and spirits, has launched a plot project where consumers can drop off electronics, batteries and paint. Called "Recycling Plus," the program will debut in Ontario's west end and is being done in cooperation with Stewardship Ontario through its Orange Drop Program and Sims Recycling Solutions Canada will handle the recycling.
In Oregon, lawmakers are considering a measure that would allow winemakers to fill up reusable containers that customers bring in or buy, not unlike what the state currently allows with microbrews, reports The Oregonian. "It puts us at the leading edge of sustainability," Dan Jarman, a lobbyist for the Oregon Winegrowers Association, said of the idea, citing how it could cut down on the need to haul around glass.
PGA, Inc. , a processor of recycled plastics, will relocate its operations to an existing facility in White Haven, Pennsylvania, creating 28 jobs. The company will invest more than $600,000 in land and building acquisitions and development, building renovations, equipment purchases and employee training.
The U.S. Composting Council has launched a new website, Buy-compost.com, that's meant to help consumers purchase compost from members of the trade organization. It also will answer purchasing questions and serves as a portal for community gardens looking for compost donations.
RecycleMania is back in action as college campuses compete to see who can reduce, reuse and recycle the most on-campus waste. For an eight-week period, beginning today and running alongside the NCAA basketball tournament, colleges and universities take part in an exciting competition that increases recycling participation by students and staff, while raising awareness about waste reduction programs on campuses.
RecycleMania will run through March 30, 2013, with the involvement of 523 schools, more than 4.4 million students, and nearly 1 million faculty and staff participating in 47 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. New York has the best representation with 38 colleges participating, followed by Texas and Pennsylvania. The list of institutions taking part is diverse, ranging from Tulane University to Washington State University to Harrisburg Area Community College in Pennsylvania.
Schools compete in 11 categories to see which can recycle the most paper, cardboard, cans and bottles, and food waste on a per capita basis; which can produce the least amount of waste; and which recycles the largest percentage of their overall waste stream. In one of two new categories – Game Day: Basketball – schools are challenged to increase their recycling and reduce waste generation at a single home basketball game. A second new category targeting film plastics will call attention to the recyclability of items such as dry cleaning bags, shrink wrap and shopping bags.
Colleges and universities choose which categories to participate in and have flexibility to compete in the formal rankings or go at their own pace in a less formal “Benchmark” division. Each week schools record how much was recycled or thrown out and the standings are regularly updated.
“RecycleMania’s power comes from the way it taps school spirit to motivate students who may not react to a traditional environmental message,” according to Bill Rudy, recycling manager at Brigham Young University and President of RecycleMania, Inc.
“Promoting recycling and waste reduction to college students is an important step to building and sustaining vibrant communities, both on campuses and beyond,” said Keep America Beautiful President & CEO Matt McKenna. “Our organization is thrilled to sponsor and administer the RecycleMania program as part of our effort to engage the future generation of environmental stewards.” CONTACT Alec Cooley Tel: 843.278.7686 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web site: http://recyclemania.org The competition is made possible with the sponsorship support of the Alcoa Foundation, the American Forest & Paper Association, The Coca-Cola Company and SCA.
“Alcoa Foundation is proud to sponsor RecycleMania and partner with Keep America Beautiful to educate, empower and motivate Millennials to reduce and recycle waste,” said Paula Davis, president, Alcoa Foundation. “Alcoa is committed to increasing U.S. recycling rates to 75 percent by 2015, and colleges and universities present enormous opportunities to advance this goal.”
“Programs like RecycleMania teach and motivate people to recycle and to measure the results of their efforts,” said American Forest & Paper Association President and CEO Donna Harman. “The paper industry has achieved noteworthy recovery goals for years, but we cannot claim sole responsibility for these results; it is thanks to the millions of individuals who make the choice to recycle every day. Our industry has pledged to exceed 70 percent recovery of our products for recycling by 2020, and initiatives like RecycleMania will help us get there.”
“All of us can help reduce waste. Discovering ways that you can make recycling a habit is the best way for us to increase recycling rates,” said Bruce Karas, vice president of environment and sustainability at Coca-Cola Refreshments. “At Coca-Cola, we support recycling programs that drive awareness and participation. RecycleMania is a friendly competition that encourages college students to recycle more, which we hope will turn into habits that continue throughout their lives.”
“For SCA, our sustainability commitment encompasses everything we do. It drives the value added solutions we create for customers, our daily operations and the responsible management of our forest in Sweden. Here in North America we use recycled materials to make many of our products, with a focus on efficiency and using environmentally sound processes,” said Joseph Russo, vice president, sales & marketing, SCA’s Away From Home Professional Hygiene business in North America. “Our ongoing participation in RecycleMania is one of the many ways SCA inspires others to join us in our sustainability commitment and establish lifelong recycling habits. We’re looking forward to supporting another year of spirited competition between hundreds of universities and colleges across the country.”
In 2012, 92 million pounds of recyclables and organic materials were recovered, which prevented the release of nearly 150,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E). This reduction in greenhouse gases is comparable to the annual emissions from more than 25,800 passenger cars; electricity use of more than nearly 16,400 homes; or the burning of nearly 705 railcars’ worth of coal.
A complete list of participants can be found at http://recyclemaniacs.org/. Contact information for specific campuses is available to news media by calling (843) 278-7686 or emailing email@example.com.
Aluminum has a fantastic market value which means recycling it is an economic incentive for individuals and businesses. Aluminum requires less prep before it’s reused. Plastic bottles often have to be scrubbed clean before they can go through the recycling process but the heat used in melting aluminum takes care of any unwanted contaminants. Aluminum isn’t just recycled into new aluminum, it can be used in furniture, airplanes, and appliances as well! Read More
synonymous with aluminum. The Pittsburgh-based company is the leading producer
of primary aluminum and fabricated aluminum and the world’s largest miner of
bauxite and refiner of alumina. However, the company also understands the
important contribution recycling makes to its sustainability efforts as well as
to its bottom line, which is why it has introduced a number of initiatives
designed to encourage consumers to recycle used beverage cans (UBCs).
Alcoa and Alcoa Foundation have donated recycling bins to schools and
organizations across the U.S. in addition to supporting voluntary programs such
as the Curbside Value Partnership, which provides funding for recycling
infrastructure and consumer education.
In late 2012, Alcoa announced its most recent investment, Action to
Accelerate Recycling, which seeks to drive collaborative voluntary action to
Alcoa Director of Recycling Programs Beth Schmitt talked with Recycling Today
Managing Editor DeAnne Toto at the time the company introduced its Action to
Accelerate Recycling initiative, which also coincided with the release of the
UBC recycling rate for 2011.
“I’m proud of what the company is doing around Action to Accelerate
Recycling,” she says. “A lot of people are talking about recycling. I’m proud of
the fact that Alcoa is actually investing in it and is doing something to drive
up recovery of this really important secondary raw material.”
She says the company sees numerous benefits from recycling, including a 95
percent reduction in the energy needed to produce aluminum from recycled metal
compared with raw ore. “That energy savings is a real motivator for us as a
company,” Schmitt says. “The magnitude of green house gas emissions (GHG) is
also cut by almost the same degree. Those two factors really are foundational to
our overall sustainability strategy as a company.”
Schmitt says these environmental benefits translate into bottom-line benefits
for the company.
Recycling Today (RT): To what do you
attribute the 7 percent jump in the UBC recycling rate in 2011?
Beth Schmitt: I would attribute that to a combination of
factors, really. For the last several years, we know that several new MRFs
(material recovery facilities) have come online and that recycling rates are
continuing to climb in deposit states as well as more municipalities. In
addition, private waste haulers are responding to consumer demand to add
recycling services and to increase the types of materials that are recovered in
local recycling programs. I believe there’s an increase in awareness of the
value of secondary natural resources that are going into landfills and the need
to divert those resources.
The only other thing I’d add is that we are somewhat cautious about being too
optimistic about the rate jump. We are really happy that it increased as much as
it did [in 2011], but we also know that a portion of that rate increase can be
attributed to the increase in aluminum can, or UBC, imports. That is primarily
because we are still not getting enough cans from U.S. consumers. It really has
led us to realize that we need to continue to work on consumer awareness as well
as working to increase convenient access to [recycling] infrastructure. Because
we have a demand for cans, as an industry we are increasing the amount of cans
that we are importing from outside the U.S., such as from countries like Mexico,
Canada and elsewhere.
RT: Why do you think the recycling rate for aluminum cans far
surpasses those of other beverage containers? What has the industry done
successfully to communicate the value of the UBC?
Schmitt: The rate for aluminum can recycling is roughly more
than double that of other containers. I believe that consumers recognize that
aluminum cans are infinitely recyclable and no can need ever see a landfill.
Because cans can be recycled an infinite number of times, I believe more
consumers of beer and beverages are beginning to understand that and are
beginning to understand the closed-loop process as awareness around how
recycling systems work grows.
That closed-loop process is unique, really, to aluminum cans in regard to
other packages. That the process can happen over and over again in the course of
60 days is a pretty significant fact that I think more and more users of
packaging understand. As they gain that awareness and understanding, it is
leading to higher and higher recycling rates.
RT: Do you think more people recognize an inherent value in a can
as opposed to a plastic bottle or a glass bottle?
Schmitt: In my role within our company, I continue to work
with both municipalities and organizations that recognize the intrinsic value of
aluminum. It is the only material that consumers have consistently been paid to
recycle over the course of the last 30 years or so. Regardless of whether the
metal price is going up or down, there is still a positive value to recycling
aluminum cans. It not only helps to support a lot of charitable organizations
that rely on aluminum can recycling to survive but it also supports individuals
as they supplement their incomes. That intrinsic value is really what sets
aluminum apart from any other beverage container.
RT: What steps is the industry taking to increase the overall UBC
recycling rate? Have you identified a target that you’d like to
Schmitt: I guess it was in 2008 when Alcoa led the industry
to set the recycling rate target of 75 percent. That was happening at a time
when, either because of consumer awareness waning or a variety of factors, the
recycling rate stagnated or started to drop.
The industry is working on I guess what we would call a three-legged stool of
what we believe consumers need to have in place to increase that recycling rate:
certainly, awareness of how and where and why you should recycle; convenient
access to infrastructure to be able to recycle; and incentives.
You mentioned the intrinsic value a couple of minutes ago. The intrinsic
value of aluminum does provide that incentive for consumers to get engaged in
the recycling process. We have worked with partners, which would include
organizations like Keep America Beautiful (KAB), the Curbside Value Partnership
(CVP) and the Southeast Recycling Development Council (SERDC), to try to improve
each one of those legs of the stool. But we also have been involved in doing
awareness programs of our own. There is a new Facebook app that Alcoa created
and [launched in September 2012] called Pass the Can that will engage consumers
in crushing a can and passing it to one of their friends or a group of friends
on Facebook to try to increase awareness to recycle. Each time that can is
passed, additional information is provided to consumers about the importance of
[recycling], how it happens and how they should get involved. Each time that
message is passed on to another friend, the Alcoa Foundation is donating $1 to
one of three different organizations.
That is an example of how we are trying to use new media to get the word out
and to create not just awareness but more of an element of social action that
would engage people in putting peer pressure on their friends, which we know
works, and to encourage more people to recycle at a local level. Getting people
to persuade other people to take action is where we think the next phase of our
work can go in terms of increasing awareness and getting to a 75 percent
[Pass the Can] follows the Aluminate app that we launched in 2010 and the
viral video that we published to use new media to try to get the word out. Those
are the kinds of things that as an individual company we are doing. As I said,
we are also engaged with KAB and others.
The other thing that was announced [in September 2012] in Chicago was the
next phase of our commitment to reaching that goal at the Clinton Global
Initiative (CGI). Our sustainability director (Kevin Anton) [spoke] on a panel
and [talked] about a couple of other things that we are going to be launching in
the next year or two to continue to drive that rate to where we need it to
RT: Can you give me an example of what some of those things might
Schmitt: The CGI commitment is called Action to Accelerate
Recycling. We have been working in partnership with other companies as well as
with KAB to increase the recycling rate through recycling programs focused on
education and activation. The Pass the Can Facebook app is part of that overall
commitment. We are also working very closely with KAB to develop and launch a
national multimedia awareness campaign that will be run by KAB and the Ad
Council. We are working very closely to get additional partners onboard that
effort so that we can accelerate it and expand it to include a social action
There are several other elements. For example, we’ve committed to work with
several different universities to collect additional cans through football
tailgating season and in other places where we know there is a high volume of
aluminum cans used, and unfortunately that may be a time when, if they are not
recycled, those cans could go into the waste stream. We’ve segmented where we
know cans are being used and we are targeting those specific audiences to try
not just to increase awareness but also to increase the capture of those
RT: Ideally, how much of the company’s feedstock would you like
to see be in the form of recycled material?
Schmitt: I believe it is safe to say we could recycle as
many cans as we can collect. That is why as a company we are focused more on
recovery and that recycling rate. Ideally, we would like to collect and recycle
100 percent of the cans that are produced if they could be recovered. There
would be ample demand for that recycled content if it could be collected.
We are certainly interested in getting material back for the other segments
of our business beyond packaging.
RT: Would you like to talk about the other sectors that you’re
targeting material from and the challenges there?
Schmitt: Yes. The infinite recyclability doesn’t just apply
to aluminum cans. It is really a core part of our overall product strategies and
sustainability strategy and indeed it is a part of Alcoa’s DNA. We are working
very actively in other segments, such as automotive, the aerospace markets,
wheels—we have a huge wheels business and are very active both with our
business-to-business customers as well as with the consumers of those wheels to
get those back so that we can put them into feedstock to make new wheels—and
also consumer electronics.
More and more mobile devices are being made with aluminum. The iPhone 5
launch is a great example of how the product life cycle of many of the mobile
devices and other products, laptops and the like, are shorter and shorter. We
want to get those materials back so that we can continue to incorporate that
recycled content into all of our products.
A couple of years ago, we invested in Electronics Recyclers International
(ERI, headquartered in Fresno, Calif.). We took a 10 percent stake in that
company in order to play a more active role in getting that material, that
metal, back out of that waste stream because of the shorter product life and the
importance of reclaiming that material at the end of those short product life
RT: Have you had to incorporate any additional sorting technology
at your facility as materials get more complex?
Schmitt: We continue to refine and to invest in our
processing, both our practices and our equipment, to make sure we have a clean
stream of aluminum coming into our recycling facilities. That is something that
we are continually improving.
RT: How does Alcoa’s takeover of Evermore factor into the
company’s strategy to increase its use of recycled materials?
Schmitt: I have worked with the Evermore folks for the last
several years and I am really thrilled about the fact that they are now solely
owned and are a full part of Alcoa. Evermore, as the world’s premier recycling
company, has great relationships with literally hundreds of scrap dealers across
the U.S. and, in fact, outside the U.S.
I think the Evermore takeover is going to give us a great opportunity not
only to increase our volume and quality of UBCs in the future but it is also a
great opportunity to work, I guess you could say at the grassroots level, to
increase UBC recycling rates across the United States. I am looking forward to
working with them in my role as the director of recycling programs to try to get
more grassroots level action underway that would help not only increase the
volume of cans coming in but would help our suppliers build their businesses as
well. It is an exciting time for us, and we are really thrilled to be the sole
owner of Evermore.
Beth Schmitt is director of recycling
programs for Alcoa, with corporate headquarters in Pittsburgh.
Alcoa Canada employees are highlighting the energy savings achieved through recycling with their own Aluminum Holiday Tree!
Alcoa Canada Global Primary Products, Alcoa Foundation and their partner Sustainable House today unveiled their first holiday can tree. This tree, which is made of 700 reused aluminum cans, was built by a group of Canadian high school students. The activity was a great opportunity for them to find out more about the importance of recycling aluminum. The tree will be visible in the House’s atrium until December 20th, after which time the cans will be recycled.
“This tree is a unique way to reuse aluminum over the holidays”, said Lysane Martel, Director, Communications and Public Affairs, Alcoa Canada Global Primary Products, and Alcoa Foundation Director in Canada. “It puts forth creativity while reminding everyone how sustainable aluminum is as it can be almost infinitely recycled”.
Millions of people recycle at home and at work, but travel recycling has always been a challenge until now.
Tennessee state agencies have joined the effort.
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, the Tennessee Department of Transportation and the state Tourist Development department have started providing recycling services for cans and bottles at welcome centers, including those at I-75 Chattanooga and I-24 Tiftonia.
"Recycling away from home is one challenge that all recyclers face," said Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau in a news release. "Visitors to our state will now see receptacles with blue and green lids for recycling."
Welcome center visitors across the state also will have the opportunity to recycle at I-65 near Ardmore, I-81 at Bristol, I-24 at Clarksville, I-26 at Erwin, I-40 at Hartford, I-75 at Jellico, I-65 at Mitchellville and I-40 at Smith County.
TDEC spokeswoman Shannon Ashford said the program began with a pilot study at the Clarksville Welcome Center and grew to a few other locations to test the feasibility.
Orange Grove Recycling will help the effort locally.
Ashford said TDEC already coordinates Tennessee's State Facility Recycling Program to encourage workers in state offices to recycle mixed office paper, plastic and aluminum recycling, as well as nontraditional items, such as clothing, coat hangers, eyeglasses and greeting cards, for reuse, donation and recycling.
Since the program's start in 1990, state employees have recycled 18,791 tons of mixed office paper, saving $564,000 in landfill disposal costs while generating nearly $213,000 in recycling revenue.
The recycling revenues are deposited in the Solid Waste Management Fund, which is used to help local communities in their solid waste reduction efforts, Ashford said.
The Foothills Fall Festival is an annual all aluminum event in Maryville, TN. Recycling sponsors Alcoa Inc., the City of Maryville, DENSO, Keep Blount Beautiful and Spectra Recycling raise recycling awareness during the festival with recycling games, information and video commercials during the concerts. The 2012 recycling rate at the festival was 93%!
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