KAB's Recycling Department
Our History and Purpose
The recycling department was established in September 2009 when Keep America Beautiful leaders decided to strengthen the organization’s mission to increase recycling and reduce waste. Guided by KAB’s mission, the recycling team strives to educate, encourage, and engage individuals and communities in recycling through a number of initiatives, tools and resources.
One of the office’s first projects was a public space initiative, designed to promote recycling bin use outdoors in areas like parks, beaches, streets, and at recreational events. This led to the successful Coca Cola Bin Program, which awards applicants a set of recycling bins. By giving bins to entities like local governments who can then lend them out to multiple organizations for use at their events, the department aims to optimize bin use and ultimately increase recycling. By identifying current recycling challenges and areas with room for growth, the recycling department strives to build the most effective programs possible. With that in mind, the office created and continues to organize an annual symposium to facilitate national discussion around a current recycling issue. Past subjects include climate change and public space recycling.
Here in the nation’s capital, the recycling office staff works not only in the name of recycling, but also on behalf of Keep America Beautiful as a whole. We seek to establish a presence here among the organizations who share our vision to keep America beautiful.
Who We Are
Brenda Pulley, Senior Vice President, Recycling
Brenda joined KAB in October 2010 to develop, execute, and expand America Recycles Day. She also supports other recycling programs and connects with Washington-based stakeholders. In this role, she identifies and develops strategies for policy issues key to KAB, its mission and members. Prior to joining KAB, Brenda served as Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Communications for Novelis. Brenda began her nearly 30-year career working for the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Environmental Small Business Committee. In addition to her work on Capitol Hill, she has also worked for both corporations and trade associations. Brenda also serves on the Board of Directors of R2 Solutions – the organization charged with promoting environmentally responsible practices throughout the electronics recycling industry.
Alec Cooley, Director, Recycling Programs
Cooley joined Keep America Beautiful in fall 2009 as the recycling
department was being established. In addition to managing the
RecycleMania competition, he oversees several recycling grants and
supports broader recycling program development. Before coming to KAB,
Alec spent three years as a programs manager at the National Recycling
Coalition. Alec got his start in recycling field nearly 20 years ago as
an operations manager at the Arcata Community Recycling Center, followed
by 10 years managing the recycling and solid waste program for Humboldt
State University in Northern California. He now lives in Charleston,
Kelley Dennings, Director, Recycling Programs & Services
Dennings has been working in the recycling industry for nearly 15
years. After graduating from NC State, she worked in North Carolina as a Recycling
and KAB Coordinator for seven years where she implemented a school recycling
program and an electronics recycling program. She then worked for the
state’s recycling office for five years where she conducted various
social marketing projects for the RE3.org campaign and the state’s
plastic bottle ban. In 2010, she received her project management
certification and joined the Keep America Beautiful organization in its
Washington, D.C, recycling office. Her role with Keep America Beautiful
includes overseeing projects regarding school recycling, recycling on
the go, rural recycling and social marketing.