America Recycles Day Prompts Recycling Programs

by | Nov 16, 2010

In recognition of America Recycles Day, several recycling organizations and businesses have either launched or expanded their recycling programs. Call2Recycle also released results from a study that recommends several ways to bolster recycling rates.

Take-back programs for all types of recyclables items including those found in business offices, retail stores, hospitals, universities, military bases and public agencies are underperforming due to design flaws and are facing management challenges, according to a new survey from Call2Reycle.

The study finds that there are five key ways to achieve greater recycling results. These include using signage based on pictures instead of words, avoiding kiosks that resemble trash cans, designing the shape of the kiosk to fit the materials, placing the collection bins near entrances so they are clearly visible, and training employees to implement the recycling program.

Here are highlights of several recycling programs launched in recognition of America Recycles Day.

Anheuser-Busch announced a $500,000 gift from the Anheuser-Busch Foundation to Keep America Beautiful to support their national recycling programs. The donation will help fund a grant program to assist event recycling by providing approximately 3,000 recycling bins to local communities across the country.

Last year, the company’s 12 U.S. breweries recycled 99.4 percent of the solid waste generated in the brewing and packaging of their beers. Recycled materials include beechwood chips, aluminum, glass, brewers’ grain, scrap metal, cardboard and many other items. Since 1992, the company at its charitable foundation have donated more than $63 million to environmental and conservation efforts across the country.

The nonprofit organization BeautyRecycled, which launched this past year, is rolling out a new recycling program in selected beauty salons to collect and recycle beauty product containers. In addition, through a new partnership with Aerosolv, the group will be able to safely recycle aerosol cans collected from beauty salons as part of this new effort.

BeautyRecycled is currently testing its program in beauty salons in Atlanta, Chattanooga, and San Francisco. The group plans to expand its container recycling program to New York, Los Angeles and Chicago early next year.

FutureMark Paper Company has recycled more than 1.5 billion pounds of paper since its mill first began producing coated publication paper eight years ago. The Illinois-based company, which claims to be the only North American manufacturer capable of producing up to 100-percent recycled lightweight coated paper for magazines and catalogs, reached the 1.5 billion milestone last month. 

The company has reused enough waste paper to displace 2.48 million cubic yards of landfill space and save more than 12 million trees.

Home Depot, Macy’s, Walmart, Whole Foods and American Eagle Airlines’ in-flight magazine “Latitudes” have signed contracts in the first half of 2010 with FutureMark  to buy the company’s 100-percent recycled coated paper for magazines and catalogs.

Kashi has announced its participation in RecycleBank’s Points for Planet platform, a green rewards program, as well as its support of America Recycles Day’s Keep America Beautiful Program. The partnership will encourage sustainable forms of consumption, raise awareness for America Recycles Day and inspire more people to recycle.

Recyclebank also has set a goal of adding two million more people to its green rewards program by America Recycles Day 2011. This month, RecycleBank launched digital and social media initiatives in an effort to educate and empower consumers on how to recycle.

In partnership with Stonyfield Farm, Tom’s of Maine, Brita and Whole Foods Market, the Preserve Gimme 5 Program has reached its goal of recycling 50 tons, or 100,000 pounds of recycled yogurt cups, hummus and cottage cheese containers, and other reusable #5 plastic packages. That’s the equivalent of 6.4 million Stonyfield yogurt containers, 1.3 million Tom’s of Maine deodorant containers, or 500 thousand Brita Filters

Meanwhile, Sprint Nextel is reminding consumers of the environmental benefits of recycling their old or unused wireless devices through take-back programs such as Sprint Buyback and Sprint Project Connect.

Sprint Buyback and Project Connect, Sprint’s wireless reuse and recycling take-back programs, have kept more than 22 million wireless devices out of landfills and have generated more than $8 million in charitable contributions since 2001.

Sprint’s programs emphasize reuse even when phones are damaged. Parts that cannot be reused are recycled. More than 90 percent of the devices Sprint collected in 2009 were reused.

Sprint Buyback was recently expanded to accept eligible devices from any carrier or manufacturer. The program offers customers a financial incentive to recycle their old or unused devices with Sprint ranging from $5 to $300 per eligible device.

Devices that do not qualify for the Sprint Buyback program can be donated to Sprint Project Connect. Sprint Project Connect is a recycling service that accepts all used wireless phones, batteries, accessories and data cards, regardless of carrier or condition.

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