Industry Collaboration Delivers More Than $80,000 for Recycling Education Grants

Steve Thompson Scholarship

STAMFORD, Conn. (July 25, 2017) -- Today, The Recycling Partnership and other partnering organizations, including Keep America Beautiful, announced the recipients of the Steve Thompson Memorial Education Grants program to bring more than 50 recycling professionals from across the U.S. to Minneapolis for the 2017 Resource Recycling Conference to further their recycling education.

At the end of 2016, The Recycling Partnership released its 2016 State of Curbside report, identifying the key attributes of the highest-performing recycling programs in the U.S. The single attribute found in 100 percent of those communities was engagement in “public action,” where local program staff were actively managing their programs. In other words, recycling professionals are the key to better program performance.

“To deliver powerful public actions that will enable these programs to recover more better recyclables, recycling professionals need tools – tools that we have available and that they will receive from the experts and leaders at the Resource Recycling Conference,” said Keefe Harrison, the organization’s CEO. “We are thrilled to make this investment in the future of the recycling system.”

The Partnership today also announced funding to issue more grants, working with eight additional funders: Cascadia Consulting Group, the Closed Loop Fund, Dow, Keep America Beautiful, ReCollect, Re-TRAC Connect, Recycle By City and the Sustainable Packaging Coalition.

“You can accomplish more with others than you can do alone – and we thank these companies and groups for joining us in bringing 53 recycling professionals from 34 U.S. states and the District of Columbia to the Resource Recycling Conference,” said Harrison.
This is the second year that The Recycling Partnership, in association with Re-TRAC Connect and Resource Recycling, Inc., has offered the Steve Thompson Memorial Grant to bring recycling professionals to the Resource Recycling Conference, paying for travel, lodging and registration. Last year, 10 grants were chosen from more than 200 applications. This year, 53 grants were issued from more than 500 applicants.

Steve Thompson was a committed recycling champion who worked tirelessly to move the industry forward. Thompson, who passed away in 2016, served as executive director of The Recycling Partnership's precursor organization, the Curbside Value Partnership (CVP), before retiring in 2014 when CVP was part of Keep America Beautiful's recycling program. The grants are meant to honor him and his life's work.

About The Recycling Partnership
The Recycling Partnership is a national nonprofit organization that applies corporate partner funding to improve the recycling system in cities and towns across the nation, thus increasing supplies of clean materials for manufacturing. The Recycling Partnership is the only organization in the country that engages the full recycling supply chain: from the corporations that manufacture products and packaging, to local government charged with recycling, to industry end markets, haulers, material recovery facilities, and converters, positively effecting recycling at every step in the process and transforming recycling in towns all across America.

Between 2015 and today, The Recycling Partnership has assisted more than 420 communities with tools, resources and technical support. It has provided 400,000 recycling carts, reached 17 million households, and helped companies invest more than $27 million in recycling infrastructure. In doing so, it has achieved results in the form of: 382 million gallons of water saved, 164,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas avoidance, reductions in targeted contamination rates, and an energy savings of 2.0 trillion BTU / year.

About Keep America Beautiful
Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s iconic community improvement nonprofit organization, inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. Established in 1953, we strive to End Littering, Improve Recycling and Beautify America’s Communities. We believe everyone has a right to live in a clean, green and beautiful community, and shares a responsibility to contribute to that vision.

Behavior change – steeped in education, research and behavioral science – is the cornerstone of Keep America Beautiful. We empower generations of community stewards with volunteer programs, hands-on experiences, curricula, practical advice and other resources to deliver measurable environmental, economic and social benefits. The organization is driven by more than 600 state and local affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the support of corporate partners, social and civic service organizations, academia, municipalities and government officials. Join us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Donate and take action at kab.org.