Keep Atlanta Beautiful (KAtlB) conducts two Community Recycling events each month for Atlanta residents. Each event accepts items that are not accepted as household recyclables, including electronics, Styrofoam, latex paint, and paper for shredding. The Buckhead event is open the first Saturday of each month, and the Old Fourth Ward event is held on the second Saturday. In the first quarter of 2013, KAtlB recycled 55,646 lbs. of electronics, 684 lbs. of Styrofoam, 884 gallons of latex paint, and 23,800 lbs. of shredded paper. For more information on our recycling centers and other services provided by KAtlB, please visit www.KeepAtlantaBeautiful.org.
Located behind Brunswick Community College Annex Building in Southport, N.C., rests a run-down vacant property that will soon be transformed into a more welcoming community gathering place. Vacant land can often attract vandalism and the feeling of being unsafe, which is why Keep Brunswick County Beautiful is working to build a large-scale community garden. This renovated space will become a place for residents to share a common bond. The garden project that will take place in Brunswick County will be comprised of 30- 40 raised garden beds – some of which will be elevated three feet off the ground to be wheel-chair accessible.
Each of the garden beds will be rented out to community members to tend individually or in small groups. Future plans include the involvement of local residents, college students and nearby day-care center participants. This community garden will provide children and adults a place to grow and harvest vegetables that they would not normally be able to grow on their personal property.
One unique aspect of the garden is the “community bed” that will be located around the perimeter of the individual plots. This border will serve as an area for renters to place leftover plants; once harvested, the produce will be donated to local food banks.
Another characteristic of the garden will be a 2500-gallon tank that will capture rainwater runoff from a nearby building and redistribute the water to the garden. The Solid Waste Department will be using locally made compost to fill the garden beds prior to planting. Kimberly Thompson, executive director of Keep Brunswick County Beautiful, recently saw and tested the compost. She referred to it as “Black Gold” because it was so hearty.
Plans for the construction of this multi-faceted community garden are well underway and should be completed later this summer. Community members, students and teachers will soon have an area to call their own and bring them closer together.
This spring, Keep America Beautiful has partnered with Johnson & Johnson on their new free app Donate a Photo. It’s easy – just choose our cause, take a picture and donate your photo. Every photo you upload through Donate a Photo can provide $1 from Johnson & Johnson to help us restore public parks! After only a month of the campaign, 832 participants have donated 3691 to help restore 5 parks across the country. Photos can be donated to Keep America Beautiful once a day through June 30, 2013 or until donations reach our goal of $40,000, whichever comes first.
The Donate A Photo App can be found in the iPhone app store and Google Play Market or visit www.donateaphoto.com
Johnson & Johnson has curated a list of trusted causes, and you can donate a photo to one cause, once a day. Each cause will appear in the app until it reaches its goal, or the donation period ends. If the goal isn’t reached, the cause will still get a minimum donation.
Arkansas currently has three communities undergoing the process to become certified local affiliates of Keep America Beautiful, to join the organization’s expanding network of statewide and community-based affiliates. These cities are Bryant, El Dorado, and West Memphis.
“As part of the Keep America Beautiful network, these communities have pledged to act as a catalyst for positive community change, with the goal of improving the quality of life for every resident,” said Robert Phelps, director of Keep Arkansas Beautiful. “We welcome Keep Bryant Beautiful, Keep El Dorado Beautiful and Keep West Memphis Beautiful to our affiliate network, which is keeping both Arkansas and the U.S. clean and green, one community at a time.”
On Saturday, May 18, volunteers came out to the largest vacant lot transformation in the country – PHX Renews! Volunteers assisted in creating cover crops in the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension garden to improve the health of the soil. Volunteers also assisted in installing parts of a 160-piece public art collection on site. The art was created by various artists and the public under the direction of Hugo Medina.
PHX Renews is a project envisioned by Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and implemented by local nonprofit Keep Phoenix Beautiful. The basis behind this project is to document and find temporary uses of vacant urban land, which is scattered all across Phoenix.
PHX Renews is centered on a 15-acre parcel at the intersection of Central & Indian School Roads in central Phoenix. This property is privately held by the Barron Collier Company of Naples, Fla., and has been vacant for over 20 years.
Keep Phoenix Beautiful is a 501(c)3 organization and an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful. Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, a past partner of KAB, has converted over 6,000 vacant lots in Philadelphia into green space. While green space is difficult to achieve in our arid desert climate, the achievements of the Philadelphia program are hard to ignore. Several KPB staff members have spent time at PHS projects learning best practices and witnessing their accomplishments.
On Saturday, April 27, over 3,000 Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful (KTBB) volunteers participated in Great American Cleanup activities at 84 different sites throughout the community. While there were numerous projects taking place, most volunteers focused on litter abatement.
During the event, volunteers contributed to Keep America Beautiful’s 2013 Vibrant Communities Impact Goals by collecting 65,000 pounds of trash, cleaning up more than 25 illegal dump sites and removing almost 100 littered scrap tires. They also planted 250 flowers and 940 trees. Together, the volunteers restored more than 400 acres of parks, 100 miles of roads and 50 miles of shorelines throughout Hillsborough County.
Patricia DePlasco, Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful’s community education liaison, said this year was most meaningful because there were so many different people engaged at such a wide array of sites. She explained that because of this, “We were able to interact with volunteers and explain to them why what they were doing is so important.”
As part of KTBB’s “Keep Our Schools Beautiful” program, high school students were encouraged to mentor, partner, and assist others with their community improvement efforts. For example, Jesuit High School students partnered with individuals with disabilities during the Great American Cleanup beautification project.
“The students took their cleanup responsibilities very seriously at the ‘Down and Dirty at Lowry Park’ site,” DePlasco said. “They’re determined to keep the Hillsborough River clean – even by climbing into the vegetation to pick up debris.”
KAB Reflects on 40th Anniversary of Curbside Recycling
Since the first program in 1973, the U.S. continues to make incremental progress towards comprehensive curbside recycling. Today, 40 years later, according to EPA there are 9,000 curbside recycling programs across the U.S. providing recycling access to over 230 million Americans. This has helped communities overcome the number one known barrier to recycling: convenience. This is progress. So why do we only have a 34 percent national recycling rate? We know there is potential for curbside recycling programs to have even greater impact on reducing environmental impacts, conserving energy and bringing economic benefits to communities. To achieve these benefits we must increase participation.
Various studies have shown that residents generally prefer larger, wheeled recycling carts with lids. Further, greater container capacity results in greater quantities of recyclables. Stating the obvious, this means greater participation. Comparing programs in North Carolina, a study found that the average annual recycling amount jumps 80 percent — from 247 pounds to 445 pounds per household when using carts instead of bins. At KAB, we are also studying other approaches to increase recycling participation. In partnership with the City of Chicago and The Coca-Cola Foundation, we are working with these partners to place 25,000 residential recycling carts in Chicago neighborhoods this year. The recyclables collected using these new carts will be measured and recorded. We look forward to sharing the results about the benefits of converting to carts. Let’s celebrate the growth of curbside recycling programs over in the past 40 years, and renew country’s commitment to making recycling ever more convenient.
How do you think we can make recycling more convenient?
This is the Downtown Associations Cleanup in North Platte, Nebraska. Around 100 volunteers from within the community and downtown businesses gather to spruce up the shopping area. They also paint benches, plant flowers, clean alleys and pickup trash. It was another huge success this year as more and more people dedicate time to clean and green our community!