KAB's Recycling Initiatives
America Recycles Day
One day to inform, educate and motivate. One day to get our neighbors, friends and community excited about what can be accomplished when we all work together. One day to make recycling bigger and better 365 days a year.
America Recycles Day, a Keep America Beautiful initiative, is the only nationally-recognized day and community-driven awareness event dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States.
On (and around) November 15 each year, thousands of organizations hold events to educate people about recycling resources in their community. Through recycling collection drives, demonstrations, competitions, tours, displays and other awareness-raising events, citizens take this day to encourage each other to increase their recycling at home, at school, in the office and in the community at-large.
As the national steward of America Recycles Day, Keep America Beautiful provides this vast network of volunteer organizers in every state with resources and promotional materials to support their local America Recycles Day events.
>>Learn more at America Recycles Day.
Recycle-Bowl (a program of KAB) is a free competition and benchmarking tool for K-12 school recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities. School recycling programs across the nation compete in a race to collect the most recyclables.
Whether a school has an extensive recycling program or one classroom is just launching basic recycling collections, Recycle-Bowl is a way for teachers, student green teams and facility managers to engage their school community in a fun and friendly way.
The competition is open to all elementary, middle and high schools and individual classrooms. Public, private and charter schools are eligible. Recycle-Bowl participants will track and report how much material they collect during the four-week competition timeframe in the fall semester. School-wide competitions may compete for national prizes.
One school in each state, that collects the most recyclable material per capita, will win $1,000. A national champion will then be chosen from among the top 50 statewide winners to receive a grand prize of $2500. Schools that host a community recycling drop-off program will compete in a separate category for first-, second- and third-place cash prizes.
>>Learn more at Recycle-Bowl.
RecycleMania is a friendly competition and benchmarking tool for college and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities to their campus communities. Over an eight-week period each spring, schools report recycling and trash data which are then ranked according to which school collects the largest amount of recyclables per capita, the largest amount of total recyclables, the least amount of trash per capita, or have the highest recycling rate. With each week’s reports and rankings, participating schools watch how their results fluctuate against other schools and use this to rally their campus communities to reduce and recycle more.
While the stated goal for RecycleMania is to have a fair and friendly recycling competition, the program’s underlying value is to help campuses increase recycling and waste reduction activity by raising awareness among students and staff and by providing the catalyst for colleges and universities to build and expand their programs on campus. RecycleMania participation in many cases puts a recycling program on the front page of the campus paper, helping to build administrative recognition and support. It also provides a promotional opportunity to showcase new collection or waste reduction activities. By focusing on performance metrics, the program encourages campus efforts to benchmark improvement over time.
RecycleMania began in 2001 when the recycling coordinators at Ohio University and Miami University, looking for a way to motivate their campuses, challenged each other to see which one could collect the most recycling. Miami went on to beat Ohio that first year and RecycleMania was born! RecycleMania has been gaining momentum ever since, involving 630 campuses in 2011.
RecycleMania is a trademarked program of the RecycleMania Steering Committee, with management support provided by Keep America Beautiful.
>>Learn more at RecycleMania.
Keep America Beautiful’s Symposium is an annual gathering of key opinion and thought leaders from the recycling community for a focused discussion on one current, relevant topic to the community.
Panels of subject matter and case study experts present content and engage with a diverse audience of business leaders, state and local recycling leaders from government, and the nonprofit sector, consultants, and academia.
Previous topics have included “climate change and recycling” at Emory University, “public space recycling” at the David Brower Center at UC-Berkeley, “recycling behavior economics and social marketing strategies” at The Ohio State University, and "Recycling 2.0: exploring EPR for packaging and printed materials" at the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota.
On the Go Recycling
Keep America Beautiful’s Public Space Initiative includes several branded bin grant programs administered by KAB to promote and increase public space recycling. These programs help local governments, recycling organizations, schools, small businesses and KAB affiliates launch or enhance recycling programs in their communities.
The Lend-a-Bin program, administered in partnership with Anheuser-Busch, awarded 3,500 bins to 76 communities in its first year. Also in 2011, the Coca-Cola Bin Grant Program awarded 3,804 grants to 70 of more than 800 applicants.
Great American Cleanup
The Great American Cleanup, a program of KAB, takes place annually from March 1 through May 31, involving an estimated 3.9 million volunteers and participants. The hardworking volunteers donated more than 5.7 million hours in 2010 to clean, beautify and improve more than 33,700 communities during more than 30,000 events in all 50 states and beyond. Activities included beautifying parks and recreation areas, cleaning seashores and waterways, handling recycling collections, picking up litter, planting trees and flowers, and conducting educational programs and litter-free events.
The National Sponsors and Partners provide substantial support to the Great American Cleanup program in a variety of ways, from funding and in-kind donations to employee volunteer participation. America's leading companies and brands support the campaign.
>>Learn more at Great American Cleanup.