With help from Coca Cola and Keep America Beautiful, Recycling at Rowan's the "Real Thing."
Coca-Cola was built on quenching thirst, not recycling bottles and cans.
But a recent grant to Rowan University from The Coca-Cola Foundation is expected to significantly boost recycling efforts across campus.
“Through our partnership with Keep America Beautiful, the Coca-Cola Bin Grant Program supports local community recycling efforts across the United States,” said Lori George Billingsley, Vice President of Community Relations for Coca-Cola Refreshments. “We are pleased that these bins, placed in the lobbies and common areas of all of Rowan University’s academic and administrative buildings, will provide additional opportunities for people to recycle.”
The grant of one hundred 23-gallon containers will provide ample opportunities for students, faculty and staff to throw recyclables in a collection bin and not in the trash.
“Almost everything is recyclable,” said Rowan’s Campus Planner Ed Thompson. “When you’re late for class, scooting down the hall, just shoot for the blue!”
Thompson said the University last year recycled roughly 20 percent of all refuse collected—about 3,500 tons, excluding construction materials, much of which is also recycled—but the goal is much higher, and the blue mixed-stream containers can help Rowan get there.
He said virtually all consumer waste—including glass and plastic bottles, cans, clean foil, newsprint, glossy magazines, envelopes, printer paper, cereal and cracker boxes, and more—can be dropped in the containers.
Only a small fraction of waste, most of it from food-soiled items like pizza boxes and coffee cups, may not be recycled.
Thompson said the new recycling bins are larger than those they are replacing and are all bright blue—so finding one should never be an issue.
“Providing infrastructure for people to recycle on-the-go in our communities is a key component of making recycling a natural thing to do,” said Matthew M. McKenna, president and CEO, Keep America Beautiful. “We are truly grateful for Coca Cola’s support and commitment to recycling, and for its support and commitment of the Bin Grant Program.”
Thompson said the installation of the new containers is part of an aggressive multi-phase plan to increase the collection of recyclable materials. Other aspects include an increased focus on Rowan’s participation in the national RecycleMania program and an ultimate goal of recycling as much as 90 percent of all collected materials.
“The thing to keep in mind is, recycling material is an ore, a commodity,” Thompson said. “When you recycle you help the planet, but you also save space in landfills and money on landfill fees.”
In addition, Rowan delivers more than 5,500 tons of food waste per year from the Student Center to an agricultural reprocessing plant instead of to a landfill.
Donald Moore, Rowan’s Vice President for Facilities and Operations, said the recycling bins from Coca-Cola promise to make a huge impact.
“With this award, Rowan commits ever stronger to recycling and that impacts our university and our planet, now and in the future,” Moore said.
The Bin Grant Program awards recycling bins directly to recipients and leverages volume buying discounts. In its seven years of operation, the Bin Grant Program has placed 29,000 recycling bins in over 500 communities in 48 states and the District of Columbia.
About Keep America Beautiful, Inc.:
Keep America Beautiful, Inc., established in 1953, is the nation’s largest volunteer-based community action and education organization. With a network of more than 1,200 affiliate and participating organizations, Keep America Beautiful forms public-private partnerships and programs that engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community environments. For more information, visit www.kab.org.
About The Coca-Cola Company:
The Coca-Cola Company is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca-Cola, the world’s most valuable brand, the Company’s portfolio features 15 billion-dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, the Company is the number one provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy Coca-Cola’s beverages at a rate of 1.7 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, the Company is focused on initiatives that reduce the environmental footprint; support active, healthy living; create a safe, inclusive work environment for its associates; and enhance the economic development of the communities where it operates. Together with its bottling partners, the Company ranks among the world’s top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system employees. For more information, please visit www.thecoca-colacompany.com or follow the Company on Twitter at twitter.com/CocaColaCo.