November 15, 2011 


Blount County encouraged to celebrate America Recycles Day 365 days a year

Foothills Fall Festival recycling sponsors team up to boost event’s ‘green’ status


As the nation celebrates the 14th annual America Recycles Day, local companies and organizations are celebrating the recent success of recycling efforts at the 2011 Foothills Fall Festival.


Alcoa Inc., DENSO, Keep Blount Beautiful and Spectra worked to make this year’s festival “the greenest” ever.


“While attendance numbers have continued to grow year after year, we are thrilled to report that the tons of trash generated at the Festival haven’t grown proportionally,” said Jane Groff, City of Maryville special events coordinator.


In fact, according to reports from the City of Maryville, this year, only 10.26 tons of trash were land filled compared to more than 15 tons in 2010.  The 10.26 tons is an unprecedented low for the festival – second only to the Festival’s first year in 2000 with 4.46 tons.


“While attendance has easily quadrupled from 2000, it is very encouraging to see that the amount of land filled trash has actually decreased,” Groff said.

The reduction in trash can be directly tied to the increase in recycling efforts at the three-day festival.


DENSO’s Environmental Engineering Department spearheaded a recycling campaign at the Festival in 2008.


"DENSO is proud to be a continuing financial sponsor of the Fall Festival," said Bob Booker, senior manager of the Corporate Services Division. "However, we wanted to contribute more.”


"Based partially upon DENSO Maryville plants achieving a 95 percent recycle rate due to the hard work of our associates, we felt the festival might also see increased recycling results if a strong program was initiated," he added. “The festival's recycling program has gotten even better with Alcoa Inc.'s leadership and contributions."


In 2010, Alcoa Inc. employees joined the effort and manned educational booths within the theater area of the park, thus raising awareness of recycling during the event.  Festival-goers were also reminded by video-taped messages from Governor Bill Haslam to recycle their aluminum cans.


This year almost 19,000 aluminum beverage cans were recycled, up from 13,700 in 2010.


A very special thank you goes to Festival participants for their help in using the available recycling receptacles.


“We noticed a definite increase in the use of recycling bins this year,” said Charlene DeSha, Executive Director of Keep Blount Beautiful.  “Having an adequate supply of bins and keeping them refreshed over the course of the day is instrumental to any special event’s recycling success.”


“We are pleased to participate in the Festival’s recycling efforts,” said Christy Newman, community relations manager at Alcoa’s Tennessee Operations.


“In 2008, Alcoa Inc. took up the charge to raise recycling rates in the U.S. to 75 percent by 2015. Many of our employees are recycling ambassadors when they speak at local schools, organizations and events like the Foothills Fall Festival.”


“Because recycling supports and protects hundreds of jobs here at Tennessee Operations, we encourage each member of the community to become a recycling ambassador, as well,” Newman added.


As national sponsors of America Recycles Day on November 15, Alcoa and Alcoa Foundation are providing tools on its recycling website to make it easier for Americans to learn why it’s important to recycle and how to recycle. Those tools/resources include educational fact sheets, puzzles, powerpoints and more that are available for anyone to use.


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Alcoa employee Tammy Wilson (right) volunteers as a recycling ambassador to promote the benefits of recycling during the Foothills Fall Festival