The public could benefit from additional education on what can be recycled, according to a recent national survey commissioned ahead of Earth Day by the National Waste & Recycling Association.
Curbside recycling is available to more than half of American adults and two-thirds are clear on what belongs in recycling bins, but significant numbers are unclear about some items that can be recycled.
The survey found that more than half of Americans (55 percent) confirm their town or city offers “curbside collection” of recyclables, which they place into a bin or cart separate from their household trash bin. Additionally, two-thirds of Americans (67 percent) say they’re clear on what materials go in recycling bins, and 64 percent know it is necessary to rinse used food containers before placing them into recycling receptacles.
In one area of confusion, 39 percent of Americans incorrectly believe it is acceptable to recycle plastic bags by tossing them into household bins. Plastic bags can damage and even shut down recycling facilities and should instead be recycled at participating grocery stores, the association said.
The Curbside Value Partnership (CVP), a national nonprofit organization that works to increase participation and improve efficiencies in residential curbside recycling programs, is proud to announce the appointment of Keefe Harrison as its new executive director. Founding Executive Director Steve Thompson is retiring after more than a decade of service wth CVP and almost 40 years in the recycling industry.
"I know I speak for the entire board when I say that Steve Thompson will be greatly missed," said Beth Schmitt, CVP board chair and director of recycling programs for Alcoa. "Steve has served as executive director since the launch of CVP. He was instrumental in the program's conceptual creation and has been a thoughtful and passionate leader, helping bring CVP's expertise to hundreds of communities. He is a good friend and a respected colleague."
"Keefe is well positioned to step in and lead CVP forward. We are looking forward to her fresh perspective and believe her background -- in particular her experience with local and state government and her knowledge and expertise in the plastics industry -- will help her maintain CVP's success and identify new growth opportunities," said Schmitt.
Harrison comes to CVP with 15 years of experience in the sustainability and recycling industries. She has experience working with trade associations and government. She most recently served as a senior consultant for Resource Recycling Systems and has also worked with the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers, the Southeast Recycling Development Council and the Recycling Division of the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
The entire press release is available for download below:
The second annual forum for inventors and innovative organizations to present their game-changing ideas on how to advance recycling will be held on September 15, 2014 at the Hilton Riverside in New Orleans. This event launches the annual Resource Recycling Conference and offers innovators throughout the recycling community the chance to compete for additional funding, marketing opportunities and industry support.
Alcoa proudly co-sponsors this event with other organizations such as Waste Management, the American Chemistry Council, Coca-Cola Recycling and Resource Recycling.
The Recycling Innovators Forum is currently seeking proposals and suggested topics that focus on improving recycling collection, changing consumer behavior, sorting and processing technologies, market development for different material types, reducing capital costs and other ideas to improve and advance recycling.
10 finalists will present their ideas during the forum and prizes of $20,000 each will be awarded to the top idea backed by and enterprise or institution and to the top idea backed by a single inventor or startup team.
Earth 911 took home last year's grand prize for proposing a way to communicate product recyclability through smartphone apps.
To find out more about the event or to submit a proposal visit their website.
At this year's Tennessee Recycling Coalition Annual Recycler of the Year Awards, Alcoa Tennessee Operations was presented the Tennessee Recycling Coalition Business Video of the Year award. The video promoted Alcoa's involvement in a Recycling Olympics event at the Knoxville Boys and Girls Club.
The award was presented at the 25th Annual Tennessee Recycling Coalition Conference held in February. This annual event recognizes individuals, organizations, schools and businesses in the State of Tennessee that have demonstrated a commitment to waste prevention and recycling.
New York City’s Bryant Park announces that Alcoa Foundation has awarded a $50,000 grant to help fund the famed Midtown green’s highly pro-active recycling program. The contribution will ensure that Bryant Park’s recycling of aluminum and glass containers, newspapers, cardboard, and plastic continues unabated. In 2014, the goal is to recycle 10,950 pounds of aluminum (cans) and 50,000 pounds of other materials (glass, paper).
Although Bryant Park encompasses 9.6 acres, it receives nearly six-million visitors annually, who discard an estimated 30 tons of recyclable trash. Park visitors discard recyclables into different colored receptacles, depending on their composition. The park’s sanitation staff provides an extra measure of continuity by making sure recycled items are correctly sorted before being carted away.
Bryant Park has a total of 20 award-winning blue and green “tulip” recycling receptacles.
“This grant from Alcoa Foundation will help Bryant Park continue one of its most important programs,” said Daniel A. Biederman, executive director of Bryant Park Corporation. “The park’s ever-increasing popularity means more refuse, and we’re committed to doing our part to ease the burden on the environment.”
“We always look for compelling ways to help individuals, public spaces and cities increase recycling rates,” said Ashley Chan, Director, Government Affairs & Business Development, Alcoa. “Especially in a high traffic area such as Bryant Park, we are excited to support a program that showcases what recycling can do to create cleaner and greener environment.”
The New York City Central Park Conservancy (CPC) recently introduced a new waste and recycling container to enhance the visual impact of Central Park's waste management systems and to help the surrounding community promote sustainability. The newly designed containers were a result of a collaborative design and development effort betwen the CPC, the Alcoa Foundation and the Alcoa Technical Center (ATC).
In December, the waste and recycling containers received a "2013 GOOD DESIGN Award" from the Chicago Athenaeum and The European Centre for Architecture, Art, Design and Urban Studies. This achievement helps to reinforce Alcoa as a premier innovator for new products and solutions that have a positive impact on our communities and environment.
…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.
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.
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.