Keep Genesee County Beautiful Making Progress on Flint School Recycling Program

Holly Shaker, Recycling Consultant, Keep Genesee County Beautiful

After dealing with the many struggles inherent with the Flint, Michigan, water crisis the past two years, Keep America Beautiful affiliate Keep Genesee County Beautiful (KGCB) is proud to announce, "Flint schools are recycling!"

The groundwork for the Flint school-based bottled water recycling program began last year and was formally announced to the public on Feb. 28, 2017.

As background, in January 2016, The Coca-Cola Company, Nestlé Waters North America, PepsiCo Foundation and the Walmart Foundation announced they would donate up to 6.5 million bottles of safe and clean drinking water to Flint school students. From the outset of the program, they have been providing for the storage and delivery of the bottled water, as well as the transporting of the empty water bottles for recycling.
 
In partnership with Keep America Beautiful and our affiliate, KGCB, the four companies are funding — and we are leading — a multi-tiered educational initiative for the 10,000 K-12 students in Flint. The effort is aimed at increasing the number of plastic bottles that are recycled within school grounds as well as creating opportunities to provide students, teachers and staff with the knowledge and the passion to recycle at home, at school and on-the-go. This project is just one example of how Keep America Beautiful, along with our affiliates, private, public and social sector partners, are making a difference every day in the lives of the communities we serve.
 
Many activities are underway as it relates to educating students, conducting waste audits, and registering residents for curbside recycling. In fact, KGCB spent Wednesday, May 17, registering Flint residents for recycling at Richfield Public School Academy as part of the overall program to improve recycling in Flint.

Summer camps are scheduled – and Fall education planning is underway. In the meantime, here is a poster (photo left) recently created by a student during one school’s recycling education activities. It covers all our pillars – Litter, Recycling and Beautification.  It made Keep America Beautiful staff members smile and we hope it brings a smile to your face, too.