Last week, Keep America Beautiful affiliate Annapolis Green presented 22 recycling bins to the Mayor and City Council, to be installed in various city parks. The bins, with a retail value of over $11,000, were obtained via a significant grant made possible by the Dr Pepper Snapple Group (NYSE: DPS) in collaboration with Keep America Beautiful.
The Dr Pepper Snapple Group/Keep America Beautiful Park Recycling Bin Grant Program provides funding for 900 new recycling bins in public parks across the country in 2016, making recycling more accessible for Americans enjoying the outdoors.
Annapolis Green is a non-profit that promotes sustainability in the Greater Annapolis area. When working in waste reduction, beautification, litter prevention and recycling, Annapolis Green operates as Keep Annapolis Beautiful.
For the past few years Annapolis Green/Keep Annapolis Beautiful has operated its Responsible Events & Festivals program (the Green REF) that brings recycling – and often composting – to special events throughout this area, along with the marketing to make it successful.
The city has a pilot program underway (instituted about two years ago) to pickup recycling in city parks, however, there are only six bins for all 41 city parks. The bins are not all paired with trash bins and there has been no marketing effort to make the pilot program work due to limited funds. Consequently, the recycling bins are typically half full when emptied twice a week.
Now that 22 new bins are available, Annapolis Green will work with the Recreation and Parks Department and the Public Works Department to launch a campaign for recycling in the parks where the bins are deployed and on a higher level, to encourage recycling “on the go” in all public spaces in the city.
The director of the Recreation and Parks Department says that his staff reports that 80-85% of the trash/recycling disposed of in city parks consists of beverage containers.
“The new bins will be installed soon and they will make a big difference in the cleanliness of our parks,” said Recreation and Parks Department director Michael Morris, “as well as in how residents perceive their role in recycling away from home.”
“We are very happy to bring this to Annapolis as part of our affiliation with Keep America Beautiful,” said Lynne Forsman, who, with Elvia Thompson, co-founded Annapolis Green. “This will help make recycling and other environmental practices part of everyday life in our community,” she said.
Annapolis Green will partner with the Recreation and Parks Department to conduct quarterly audits to see how much recycling vs. landfill trash is being collected (by weight), whether the recycling is being contaminated, and whether recyclables are getting into the recycling bins. Adjustments to placement and to a joint public awareness campaign will be made accordingly.
Now in its fourth year, the public park recycling grant program has awarded more than 3,400 recycling bins to Keep America Beautiful affiliates, local governments and other community organizations across 28 states to expand the availability of recycling. This investment in recycling infrastructure has improved recycling accessibility and convenience in a variety of park settings, including neighborhood and larger regional parks, beaches, athletic fields and walking trails.
“We’re taking aim at two challenges that communities face nationwide – cleaning up parks and other shared spaces and reducing the strain on landfills,” said Vicki Draughn, vice president of corporate affairs for Dr Pepper Snapple Group. “Our partnership with Keep America Beautiful puts more recycling bins in more cities within reach of more consumers who are on-the-go, helping tackle both of those challenges.”
The lack of away-from-home recycling opportunities is reflected in a recent national survey by Keep America Beautiful to understand where people normally recycle. While 92 percent said they recycled at home, only 19 percent indicated that they typically recycle in public parks. Additional research conducted by Keep America Beautiful indicated only 12 percent of surveyed public locations had recycling infrastructure in place to recover the containers. The Dr Pepper Snapple Group/Keep America Beautiful Park Recycling Bin Grant Program is designed to address the obstacle of overcoming a lack of recycling convenience.
“With the help of Dr Pepper Snapple Group, we’re transforming public spaces into beautiful places by making sure more recyclables are being placed in proper receptacles in our parks and natural areas,” said Brenda Pulley, senior vice president/recycling, Keep America Beautiful. “Our partnership is helping to make recycling more accessible and convenient, which is one of primary factors in making recycling a daily habit.”