November 15, 2012
Special event recycling celebrated on America Recycles Day
New Blount Event Recycling Initiative introduced to local planners
As the nation celebrates the 15th annual America Recycles Day, local event planners and special event venue managers have learned how to “green” their upcoming parties, concerts and festivals.
Blount Event Recycling is managed by Keep Blount Beautiful through a grant funded by Alcoa Foundation. Other partners include the cities of Maryville and Alcoa, DENSO and Spectra Recycling.
“Developed to make recycling a ‘no-brainer’ at an event, rather than an ‘afterthought’, Blount Event Recycling holds everything needed to green your event in one convenient trailer,” said Charlene DeSha, Keep Blount Beautiful Coordinator.
Jane Groff, City of Maryville Community Relations Manager, will speak to the group about her experiences with recycling at one of the area’s largest special events – the Foothills Fall Festival.
“We’ve been pleased to work with DENSO, Alcoa Inc., Keep Blount Beautiful and Spectra Recycling for the last several years to make it easy for our guests to recycle at the Foothills Fall Festival,” Groff said. “It’s been great to see a downward trend in land filled trash and an upward trend in materials recycled as a result of the festival,” she added.
In fact, 320 pounds of aluminum cans, 480 pounds of cardboard and 228 pounds of plastic were recycled as a result of the 2012 three-day Foothills Fall Festival.
DENSO’s Environmental Engineering Department spearheaded a recycling campaign at the Festival in 2008.
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.
DENSO and Alcoa Inc.’s efforts have continued, but the thanks goes to Festival participants for their help in using the available recycling receptacles.
“We have continued to notice a definite increase in the use of recycling bins year over year,” said DeSha. “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.”
“Seeing the success of recycling at the Foothills Fall Festival led us to believe that other events could be just as successful - with a little help. So, the Blount Event Recycling concept was born,” said Christy Newman, community relations manager at Alcoa’s Tennessee Operations. “Funded by a special grant from Alcoa Foundation, the trailers and recycling supplies will enable event planners to take the hassle out of recycling and make it an integral part of their special event.”
In 2008, Alcoa Inc. took up the charge to help raise recycling rates in the U.S. to 75 percent by 2015. The Aluminum Association, Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) and Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) announced earlier this year that in 2011, the U.S. recycling rate for aluminum beverage containers jumped seven percentage points, from 58.1 percent to 65.1 percent. That means 61 billion cans were recycled in 2011, a milestone that marks solid progress toward the industry’s goal of a 75 percent recycle rate.
“Because recycling supports and protects hundreds of jobs here at Tennessee Operations, we encourage each member of the community to become a fan of recycling – whether at home or at a special event,” Newman added.