Friday, November 15, 2013
Oh, how we wish everyday could be America Recycles Day….
…or better yet, if recycling aluminum cans were as automatic as, say, fastening your seatbelt, we wouldn’t need a day to raise recycling awareness at all! We’d just be doing it!
Here in the hometown of Alcoa Recycling, near the largest aluminum can recycling facility in the world, we celebrated with two local organizations who are helping us reach that lofty goal. Keep Blount Beautiful hosted an ARD luncheon to highlight the success of their fantastic “Blount Event Recycling” program which was created last year through a grant from Alcoa Foundation. The mobile recycling units are double booked nearly every weekend and they’ve helped East Tennessee increase their diversion rate. This year, Alcoa was happy to present KBB with a check for $1500, raised from our aluminum can collection efforts this year at Tennessee Operations and the offices surrounding it. For more information on starting your own workplace recycling effort, go to Recycling@Work.org.
In the nearby city of Knoxville, we also were happy to announce a bin grant to Project 2000’s Zero Waste Neighborhood initiative. Away from home bins will be donated to four area schools, and hundreds of in-home bins will be distributed by volunteers to the neighboring community.
Let’s make recycling automatic – as automatic as fastening that seat belt!
Pictured above: Alcoa Recycling’s Beth Schmitt (left) and Community Relations Manager Christy Newman (far right) present Keep Blount Beautiful’s Charlene DeSha a check raised from aluminum can recycling efforts at Alcoa’s Tennessee Operations
Pictured above: Alcoa Systems Engineer Vipin Wadhawan (right) present a bin grant to Project 2000’s Executive Director Umoja Abdul-Ahad (left) at the group’s ARD luncheon to celebrate Knoxville’s Zero Waste Neighborhood initiative. Wadhawan presented at the luncheon alongside US Assistant Atty General Brooklyn Sawyers.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Love the Land! Lose the Litter!
That is the message of the very-creative Pickin' Up Tennessee project, which just released the latest in a series of video journals filmed across the state of Tennessee last summer. The multi-media grassroots recycling project launched last March by the nonprofit group Scenic Tennessee combines digital and social media with the timeless legacies of Tennessee music, volunteerism, history, culture, and of course, Tennessee's scenic venues.
As we approach America Recycles Day this Friday, November 15, Alcoa Recycling salutes the grassroots volunteers who are helping drive the social movement to help us reach our recycling goal of 75%. Aluminum cans aren't trash -- Remind your friends and family not to waste them.
Thursday, October 24, 2013
U.S. Aluminum-Can Recycling Hits 20-Year High
Excerpts from article in WSJ:
- The rate at which the U.S. recycled aluminum cans in 2012 hit a 20-year high, reflecting metal companies' stepped-up efforts in recent years to procure and process scrap.
- The U.S. recycled 62 billion cans, equivalent to 67% of the 92 billion cans produced that year, according to a report released Thursday by a consortium of industry groups.
- The U.S. rate, while rising, still trails that of countries like Brazil and parts of western Europe.
- How used aluminum cans go from households' recycling bins to shiny new six-packs on supermarket shelves involves a complex supply chain. Waste-management companies collect recyclable material from consumers. Big aluminum companies, such as Alcoa Inc., buy the scrap, melt it and roll it into sheets. Different firms transform those sheets into cans.
- The aluminum makers are at the nexus of the process. Using recycled aluminum allows companies to avoid the energy-intensive process of getting the metal out of the ore. Prices of natural gas, fuel oil and electricity generally are higher than they were a decade ago.
- The U.S. recycling rate peaked at 67.9% in 1992, according to the consortium, which includes the Aluminum Association, the Can Manufacturers Institute and the Institute for Scrap Recycling Industries. Industry surveys on aluminum have been conducted since 1972.
- The rate has ticked higher for six consecutive years, largely driven by rising imports of used beverage cans. Imports last year totaled 13 billion cans, up from 6.5 billion in 2007, when the recycling rate stood at 53.5%.
- Increased rates of aluminum-can recycling in the U.S. add to the supplies of aluminum available globally. More recycling exerts downward pressure on raw aluminum prices, which in recent years have been weighed down by a sharp increase in production capacity, analysts say.
- Alcoa, the largest U.S. aluminum maker, last month said it would combine two divisions--one charged with collecting used beverage cans and the other responsible for industrial scrap–to bolster its presence in the recycled-aluminum market. The Pittsburgh company previously announced a program with Boeing Co. to increase the recycling of the aluminum aerospace alloys the plane maker buys from Alcoa.
Aluminum Can Continues Leadership in Sustainable Packaging as Most Recycled Beverage Container
The Aluminum Association released the 2012
US Can Reclamation Rate otherwise known as the Industry Recycling Rate.
Good News! The rate went up from 65.1% in 2011 to 67% in 2012.
Here's a link to the industry’s press release and
Monday, September 30, 2013
Take the Pledge -- Recycle at Work!
An Alcoa study of consumer recycling behavior found that more than a third of aluminum cans used away-from-home were used in the workplace. And of those cans, between 33 and 50 percent of them were not recycled. Getting businesses to offer recycling access for their employees is one important way we can move the needle toward our goal of capturing at least 75% of the cans used in the US! That’s why we are so excited about Alcoa Foundation’s sponsorship of Keep America Beautiful’s Recycling at Work
campaign – part of Alcoa Foundation’s Action to Accelerate Recycling commitment at the Clinton Global initiative. Has your business taken the pledge
? What are you waiting for?
Wednesday, September 04, 2013
Alcoa to Combine UBC and Scrap Purchasing to Further Drive Recycling of Aluminum
New ‘Alcoa Recycling’ Group to Leverage Alcoa’s Leadership to Increase Re-Use of Aluminum
Alcoa announced it will combine its group charged with recycling aluminum in the packaging market, Evermore Recycling, with its aluminum scrap purchasing group which recycles aluminum used in other markets such as aerospace, automotive, and industrial into a single organization -- “Alcoa Recycling” – to further increase the amount of aluminum that is converted back into new products.
Across its used beverage container (UBC’s) and aluminum scrap groups, Alcoa recycled approximately 1.4 billion pounds of external aluminum in 2012. By combining the two groups into Alcoa Recycling, the company will be able to leverage their strengths and go to the market in a singular, focused manner, said Michael Boyle, Director of Metal Management at Alcoa who will oversee the combined group. “The vast majority of our partners in the marketplace have the capability to supply both scrap and UBC’s to Alcoa for recycling. This new organization will now interface with the market as one entity,” said Boyle.
The new Alcoa Recycling organization will work with customers across markets to build upon the large number of closed-loop recycling programs the company has with customers, as well as implement supply chain efforts with suppliers to increase aluminum recycling.
Alcoa last month announced a closed-loop recycling program with Boeing that will significantly increase the reuse of internal aluminum aerospace alloys from the production of Boeing airplanes. At the outset, approximately 8 million pounds of high-value 2XXX and 7XXX series aluminum alloys are expected to be recycled annually. The program also lays the groundwork for expansion of the effort to capture scrap from Boeing sub-contractors. Similar programs have been underway for years across Alcoa’s customer base.
Alcoa has a long history of driving recycling efforts and leveraging the infinite recyclability of aluminum. For example, on average, can stock product from Alcoa's Tennessee Operations contains approximately 90 percent total recycled content. And Alcoa's packaging products have been Cradle-to-Cradle Certified for several years. The Cradle-to-Cradle standard is a multi-attribute, continuous improvement methodology that represents the most comprehensive sustainability product quality mark available. The newly aligned Alcoa Recycling group will work with Alcoa businesses to further drive these types of efforts.
Alcoa has been a leader in recycling of aluminum since it helped create the modern-day aluminum industry in 1888. Aluminum, unlike other materials, is infinitely recyclable and doesn’t lose any of its characteristics or durability when recycled. In fact, approximately 75 percent of all of the aluminum ever produced since 1888 is still in use today.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Recycling Innovators Forum crowns first winner, @Earth911 #InnovateGreen
Congratulations, Earth 911….
...winner of the first Recycling Innovators Forum for an
innovative technology to put more information about recycling in the hands of
consumers! The winners of the Recycling Innovators’ Forum, sponsored in part by
Alcoa, were announced on the eve of the 2013 Resource Recycling Conference in
Louisville, KY – read more about Earth 911’s winning innovation here: http://resource-recycling.com/node/4119
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Decades After a Memorable Campaign, Keep America Beautiful Returns
More than 40 years after teaming up to create the iconic “crying Indian” advertising campaign, Keep America Beautiful and the Advertising Council have joined forces to promote the benefits of recycling. The new public service campaign, created by Pereira & O’Dell, uses a plastic bottle and aluminum cans — recycled, respectively, into a bench and sports stadium — to illustrate how recyclable materials can be given a second, useful life.
Established 60 years ago, Keep America Beautiful began collaborating with the Ad Council in 1960, initially using a character named Susan Spotless to promote anti-littering efforts with taglines like “Every litter bit hurts” and “Don’t be a litterbug.”
On Earth Day in 1971, the two organizations introduced the “crying Indian” commercial, which was created by Marsteller Advertising and featured the actor Iron Eyes Cody paddling a canoe through polluted waters and crying at the spectacle. Ad Age named the advertising — which was designed to promote individual responsibility in protecting the environment and ran until 1983 — one of the top 100 campaigns of the 20th century. Until the announcement of the new campaign last week, the Ad Council and Keep America Beautiful had not worked together since 1983.
Keep America Beautiful established a recycling department four years ago, and today focuses its efforts on waste diversion. It partners with state recycling organizations, government officials, trade associations and businesses to advance its recycling agenda.
According to data recently released by the Environmental Protection Agency, in 2011 the average American produced 4.4 pounds of trash per day, while the United States produced more than 250 million tons of trash that year. However, the E.P.A. also found that only about 35 percent of this trash was recycled. In addition, research conducted by the Ad Council earlier this summer found that just 52 percent of Americans said they were “very” or “extremely” knowledgeable about properly recycling, while only 38 percent identified themselves as “avid” recyclers.
Brenda Pulley, senior vice president for recycling of Keep America Beautiful, called the new public service campaign “the emotional push needed to raise awareness and positively change people’s behavior to recycle more. Our intent is to increase recycling rates, which translates into measurable benefits including waste reduction, energy savings, natural resource conservation and job creation.”
The new campaign — by the San Francisco-based Pereira & O’Dell, which is controlled by the São Paulo-based Grupo ABC — uses television, radio, outdoor and online advertising to promote Keep America Beautiful’s recycling agenda.
A radio spot begins with a child’s voice, saying, “When I grow up, I want to be a new pair of blue jeans.” Other children chime in with things like “a kid’s first computer,” “a glass countertop in a new home” and “a warm fleece on a cold day.” The spot concludes with a child saying: “When I grow up, I don’t want to be a piece of garbage. And if you recycle me, I won’t be.” The announcer then urges listeners to “give your garbage another life. Recycle. Learn how at IWanttoBeRecycled.org,” a new Web site that lets visitors search for local recycling centers by ZIP code.
Similarly, a TV spot, in 30- and 60-second versions, follows the journey of an empty plastic bottle as it tumbles from city to city and is placed by a passer-by into a recycling bin. Both spots end with a shot of a bench — made, in part, from the plastic bottle, now recycled — on a cliff overlooking the sea. The voice-over, representing the bottle, says: “Everybody has a dream. Mine was to see the ocean. With a little help, I made it.” The spots conclude with the tagline, “Give your garbage another life. Recycle.”
P.J. Pereira, chief creative officer of Pereira & O’Dell, said he hoped the metaphor of the journey of the “very delicate” plastic bottle would inspire people to remember to recycle when they threw out their garbage. Noting that “a lot of people are confused about what they should recycle,” Peggy Conlon, president and chief executive of the Ad Council, said the new campaign presented an opportunity to educate them. She also said the campaign was aimed at “the general market, people who are not currently avid recyclers.”
The new campaign is being underwritten by the American Chemistry Council, Waste Management, Nestle Waters North America, Niagara Bottling, Unilever, the Anheuser-Busch Foundation and the Alcoa Foundation; one of the TV spots was shot at M & T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, which is partially constructed from postconsumer recycled aluminum.
Candy Lee, a professor of integrated marketing communications at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, said the campaign “in a very attractive way creates the value of taking time to recycle.” Melissa Goodall, assistant director of the office of sustainability at Yale University, said that although Keep America Beautiful’s earlier Susan Spotless and “crying Indian” campaigns developed a “very personal and emotional connection” with audiences, it was not clear that “anthropomorphizing cans and bottles is going to inspire people to recycle. I think this campaign will appeal to people who are inclined to recycle. It will be interesting to see if it inspires people who don’t already recycle to do so.”
Allen Hershkowitz, director of the solid waste project of the Natural Resources Defense Council, called the new campaign “very welcome,” but questioned how effective it would be given that recycling programs in the United States are underwritten by financially-strapped municipal governments that must also fund education and social service initiatives, as well as police and fire departments. “As long as we rely on taxpayer-financed recycling programs, we will never achieve high recycling rates,” he said, adding that recycling is underwritten by consumer product companies “whose material winds up as waste” in 47 other countries around the world.
Corporate support of the new Keep American Beautiful campaign notwithstanding, Mr. Hershkowitz said the organization should focus its efforts on the need for consumer product companies to recycle. “We are wasting millions of tons of valuable resources in landfills and incinerators because consumer product companies do not pay a nickel for the recycling infrastructure needed to be developed,” he said.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Trash Talk in Central Park
The Central Park Conservancy plans to nearly double the number of recycling cans in Manhattan through the addition of more than 400 in the Park, as part of a plan to reduce rats, improve visitor safety and increase sustainability.
Despite the number of visitors quadrupling since 1980, the Central Park Conservancy has managed to keep the Park clean by focusing on the collection of recyclables and, since 2003, reducing the Park’s waste stream by almost 40 percent. To even more effectively manage the impact of 40 million annual visitors and follow the City’s lead in enhanced recycling efforts, the Conservancy is partnering with Alcoa Inc., Alcoa Foundation and Landor Associates to expand trash management successes throughout the Park.
The new system includes the replacement of the Park’s current trash and recycling receptacles with more than 700 newly designed aluminum cans. These cans, made from 30 percent recycled aluminum donated by Alcoa Inc., are more durable than the current plastic receptacles. They were designed by Landor Associates to prevent overflow of trash and access by rats, and are a more attractive alternative to today’s plastic receptacles. Alcoa Foundation awarded the Conservancy a $500,000 grant to support the new system’s design.
“With three times as many people visiting the Park now compared to 1980, the Conservancy has to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to smart management,” said Douglas Blonsky, President & CEO of the Central Park Conservancy. “New bins in smarter locations means a more environmentally friendly, efficient collection system that helps 40 million visitors a year continue to enjoy the Park they love. We are thrilled to have the support and expertise of Alcoa Inc., Alcoa Foundation, and Landor Associates in enhancing how we manage Central Park.”
“Aluminum is the most recycled material on earth and we are proud to partner with the Central Park Conservancy on this important initiative,” said Klaus Kleinfeld, Chairman and CEO, Alcoa. “We will continue to look for compelling and creative ways to help individuals, public spaces and cities increase recycling rates and capture the economic and environmental value of recycling aluminum.”
“As New Yorkers and regular visitors to Central Park, we were really excited to take on the assignment of designing the new trash bins,” said Allen Adamson, managing director of Landor’s New York office, which designed the cans. “The result is a really iconic form, designed to complement its surroundings, while encouraging recycling in the Park. Using aluminum was a perfect match, giving the design flexibility and resilience we wouldn’t have had from any other material. We think we struck a nice balance here.”
The trash and recycling cans will be placed in strategic, high-traffic locations throughout the Park and removed from the centers of landscapes. Concentrating trash cans in high-traffic areas means fewer vehicles on pedestrian paths, making children’s and pets’ visit to Central Park safer than ever.
Check out story in Wall Street Journal (link
Friday, May 24, 2013
Alcoa Warrick Operations helps local colleges score a large victory for recycling
Ivy Tech, University of Evansville and University of Southern Indiana compete for Alcoa’s local prize in annual RecycleMania Tournament
The three largest colleges in Evansville challenged each other in a nationwide recycling contest, and together they diverted more than 450,000 pounds of material from area landfills, scoring a sustainable win for the entire community.
Ivy Tech Community College, the University of Southern Indiana, and the University of Evansville participated in the eight-week RecycleMania competition, which rallies students, faculty and staff to increase on-campus recycling rates. The national contest, managed by Keep America Beautiful, is sponsored with assistance from the Alcoa Foundation. Locally, Alcoa Warrick Operations sponsors a local version of the contest, too.
All three of the local schools finished in the top tier of the national challenge for their per capita recycling rates and for the quantity of material collected during the recycling tournament. Nationwide, 523 colleges and universities participated.
Ivy Tech Southwest’s Evansville campus finished first in the local contest and ranked 93rd overall in the nation-wide contest. The school posted a recycling rate of 34 percent. In the state of Indiana, nine colleges participated, including the three from Evansville. During the challenge, the local schools saved the equivalent of 838 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
To further increase student enthusiasm in the contest, Alcoa Warrick Operations offered a cash prize of $1,500 to the local school that performed the best in the second half of the challenge, which ended March 30. Ivy Tech received the cash prize and a traveling trophy, created from crushed aluminum cans. The trophy was designed by Evansville artist Bob Zasadny.
"We applaud all of the RecycleMania participants for so enthusiastically stepping up to reduce more waste and increase recycling," said Alcoa Foundation President Paula Davis. "This program supports the aluminum industry's goal to increase can recycling rates in the U.S. to 75 percent by 2015,” she said. “By motivating and educating students, we're encouraging lifelong positive recycling behaviors that will reduce the need for landfills and save substantial amounts of energy and money."
Ivy Tech Southwest Chancellor Dr. Dan Schenk said he is proud of the work that students, staff and faculty did during RecycleMania, boosting the school’s recycling rate and taking sustainable actions to improve the environment.
“We’d like to thank Alcoa for the leadership it has shown in sponsoring this contest, both nationally and locally,’ he said. Schenk said every classroom on the main campus of Ivy Tech Southwest has a recycling bin, which enhances the school’s recycling efforts. “In addition, Ivy Tech has a regional ‘Green Team’ to promote recycling and other Earth friendly initiatives year-round,” he said.
The presidents of both USI and UE congratulated Ivy Tech for its victory. In the three years of the local contest, each school has now had a victory in the local challenge.
University of Southern Indiana President Linda L.M. Bennett said USI has increased its recycling rate 12 percentage points. “In the years to come, USI aspires to recycle two-thirds of all of our materials," she said. "If we continue to educate our USI community, we will reach this goal. We congratulate Ivy Tech and UE on their educational efforts to improve recycling as well."
University of Evansville President Thomas Kazee, whose school won the inaugural Intra-city RecycleMania challenge, congratulated Ivy Tech and praised this annual contest. “RecycleMania benefits our entire community by highlighting the importance of recycling and sustainability, demonstrating how everyday actions make a difference,” Kazee said. “Hopefully, for all participants, the mindsets and actions developed during RecycleMania will far outlast the competition itself."
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