Alcoa Investing $2m to Increase US Recycling Rate

by | Sep 24, 2012

Aluminum producer Alcoa and the Alcoa Foundation will invest $2 million to help fund a national initiative with Keep America Beautiful aimed at increasing the US recycling rate of aluminum, plastic, glass and paper to 75 percent by 2015.

Alcoa, Alcoa Foundation and Keep America Beautiful made the announcement today at the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting.

The Action to Accelerate Recycling commitment incorporates initiatives that aim to generate awareness, create incentives and provide recycling access and infrastructure. Increasing the US recycling rate to 75 percent – which, for beverage cans, has been an Alcoa goal since 2008 – would generate close to 300 additional tons of recycled content, resulting in the avoidance of more than 2,850 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, Alcoa said.

Alcoa will help fund several smaller programs under the broader Action to Accelerate Recycling initiative, including the Pass the Can app, in which Alcoa Foundation will donate $1 (up to $75,000) for every virtual can passed to KAB, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Planet Ark.

The Action to Accelerate Recycling commitment includes funding and support for the Small Steps, Big Wins Campus Challenge, aimed at encouraging students to participate in environmental actions;, a youth-led aluminum recycling drive in the US; Tailgate Recycling, a program created by Ohio State University, the University of Tennessee, Purdue University and Clemson University to encourage fans to recycle in parking lots during football season; and Pennsylvania Resources Council, a program to educate consumers about the recyclability of pet food cans and create an easily replicated model for collecting cans.

Keep America Beautiful will drive several initiatives as well, including a plan to solicit industry to pledge a 10 percent increase in the recycling of aluminum, paper, plastic and glass in the workplace through variety of programs; a multimedia campaign to reach 200 million people; and State Fairs Recycling Initiative, which aims to provide recycling access and develop best practices in four to six underserved public venues with funding from Alcoa.

Alcoa bought out partner Novelis and took control of Evermore Recycling, the world’s biggest purchaser of recycled cans, at the end of August. Evermore Recycling is now a part of Alcoa’s Global Packaging group and will continue to be based in Nashville, Tenn.

Photo from Alcoa

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