Keep Riverside Clean and Beautiful

On May 9th, Keep Riverside Clean & Beautiful (KRCB) launched the 17th annual Great American Cleanup in the City of Riverside. Over 1,000 community volunteers took on critical neighborhoods at 59 cleanup sites citywide. Projects included: litter and weed abatement, graffiti eradication, cleaning local waterways, and planting trees in a residential neighborhood. Special thanks go to the crews from Athens Services, Burrtec Waste Industries, and CR&R Environmental Services for following the volunteer’s efforts that day, collecting over 16,000 lbs. of litter, debris, weeds, and bulky items. We would also like to thank our national sponsor, Niagara Bottling, whose employees brought their families to assist the cleanup effort in Riverside, CA.

A New Study Shows that Americans Know Personal Care Products are Recyclable, But Aren’t Recycling Them. Help Us Make a Difference!

Your shampoo and body wash bottles are dreaming to be reimagined into a new life! A new survey from Unilever Bathroom Recycling Index found that while a majority of Americans are aware that empty bath and beauty bottles are recyclable, less than half (34%) are consistently bringing these items to the recycling bin! As a result, common bathroom products like shampoo, body wash and lotion bottles could be more likely to end up in landfills than their kitchen counterparts. This seemingly small problem has a huge impact, with nearly 29 million tons of plastics sent to landfills each year – including about 600 million products from bathrooms across America.

Unilever

So what’s standing in our way? Well, it may be just that…standing. The study also found that one in five (22%) Americans wouldn’t walk across their home to recycle a bath or beauty bottle. In fact, Americans reported they are more likely to get a drink when thirsty, charge their phone, or answer a phone call than walk an empty plastic bottle from the bathroom to the recycling bin. It’s time to get up, get going, and get ahold of bathroom recycling.

Keep America Beautiful, the Ad Council and Unilever want to inspire people to get bathroom products in the bin by listing out the steps “Rinse. Recycle. Reimagine.” The study shows people know personal care products are recyclable, so let’s put this knowledge into action.

Here’s how you can join us in the bathroom recycling movement:

  • Tweet a pic of your bathroom recycling to @UnileverUSA with #ReimagineThat & #Sweeps for a chance to win a $500 gift card and eco gift packages. Contest description and rules here: http://ulever.us/Rules
  • Place a bin in your bathroom. You can even make your own. This blog breaks down the steps to going green in your bathroom.
  • Learn more about bathroom recycling and how to decode the numbers.
  • Share a GIF on your social channels.

Keep Van Buren Beautiful, Arkansas

“It all happened because we said, ‘Why are you not recycling?’” explains John Pope, Executive Director of Keep Van Buren Beautiful.

Just five years ago, there was no recycling program to speak of within the Van Buren School District in Van Buren, Arkansas. Then one pointed question from Pope to the District’s Assistant Superintendent started the ball rolling on a program that has now collected over 1,000 tons of recyclables. Pope gave a presentation to the District’s Superintendent and interested faculty, emphasizing that by having recycling in the schools, the students would teach their parents how to recycle at home. He then forged a partnership with GreenSource Recycling, who provided recycling dumpsters which are accessible for community members to drop off their recyclables as well. In the 2014 Recycle-Bowl, King Elementary in Van Buren was the highest ranked Arkansas school in the Community Division. Pope continues to do outreach to schools and businesses in the area to further bolster the now thriving recycling program within the Van Buren School District.

City of Hammond/Keep Hammond Beautiful

The City of Hammond/Keep Hammond Beautiful received a $10,000 Lowe’s/Keep America Beautiful Community Improvement Grant to revitalize Clarke Park, a municipal park located in one of Hammond’s older and lower-income neighborhoods.

About 20 volunteers and City employees assembled in the park on a cloudy December day just after Thanksgiving to plant a new garden near the front of the park, restore a natural buffer between active and passive parkspaces, and install picnic tables, park benches, and a new water line in the park. City employees also replaced sprinklers within the park’s baseball field.

The picnic tables will provide families a place to gather to celebrate holidays, neighborhood and community events, reunions, and birthdays. Park benches will offer visitors, especially, seniors, places within the park to sit, comfortably relax, and watch their grandchildren play—or simply enjoy the outdoors. And the water line will make maintaining park grounds easier—in addition to permitting the installation of an outdoor drinking fountain for playgroundgoers.

Neighbors of Clarke Park and residents of the surrounding community have been quick to compliment the City of Hammond, Keep Hammond Beautiful, and volunteers on the work that was done.

For his part, the outgoing Mayor of Hammond, Mayson Foster, is also quick to express his and his city’s gratitude for the Lowe’s/Keep America Beautiful partnership that made the improvements to Clarke Park possible.

“It’s made a real difference here,” he observes, surveying the completed project, “and we couldn’t be happier.”

Keep Tyler Beautiful, Tyler, Texas

Working with urban foresters from the Texas A&M Forestry Service, City of Tyler Parks Maintenance crew members and Lowe’s, Keep Tyler Beautiful (KTyB) has created a community fruit orchard in the City of Tyler’s Woldert Park. Our goals and objectives of this project are to create a source for teaching community members how to grow fruit and nut trees. Once the trees are mature enough to bear fruit, we will invite members of the community to come into the orchard to pick the fruit while learning more about care and selection of fruit trees in their own yards.

Keep Charleston Beautiful, Charleston, SC

Keep Charleston Beautiful was awarded a $5,000 KAB/Lowe’s Community Partners Grant to implement the Adopt-A-Stop: Bus Stop Litter Prevention Program in Charleston, S.C. Adopt-A-Stop (AAS) is a volunteer based litter prevention program geared at stopping litter at Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) bus stops located in the City of Charleston. In short, volunteers adopt a trash can at a local bus stop and service the can weekly, collecting the trash and cleaning any litter near the stop.

Thanks to the KAB/Lowe’s 2014 grant funds Keep Charleston Beautiful now has 12 stops adopted throughout the City and more under review for adoption. Grant funding provided the trash cans, lids, trash bags, pickup sticks, safety materials, and promotional items needed for this project to become a reality.

Why Adopt-A-Stop?
AAS was created to solve an issue. Litter along local roads with a focus on bus stops. Transition spots and areas where people stop are often hot spots for litter, more so when there are no receptacles for unwanted waste. Unfortunately, simply providing a trash can at such locations is the easy part of the solution. The harder part is servicing the trash cans. A trash can that is not serviced does nothing to solve the litter issue and quickly becomes a problem in and of itself. The AAS program in Charleston aimed to provide serviced trash cans at local bus stops. The catch was we had no budget or staff to service the cans. After testing our volunteers at four stops around the city, the Adopt-A-Stop program formally launched in the summer of 2014. We are continuing to expand and improve the program, but already this year our adopters have conducted 144 bus stop visits, collected 61 bags of trash from stops.

Who Adopts?
Adoption groups range from local real-estate businesses, restaurants, small businesses, individuals, families, nonprofits, schools, and local scouts groups. When thanking a the Charleston’s Boy Scout Pack 79, Den 6 for their adoption of the stop near their meeting place, the young men had a few winsome words to share. When asked how they could help prevent litter an 8-year-old responded, “Put trash in the trash can if there is one near you or just hold onto it until you see a trash can.” When asked what they thought litter was, Romney, a 7-year-old scout answered, “Plastic and tin and other stuff that people just get rid of without thinking.” These young men along with all our other volunteers are stepping up and acting as true stewards in the community.

We also involve local students to help decorate our AAS drum trash cans. The painted cans help draw attention to the cans and provide a fun way for local students to share their ideas on what makes Charleston beautiful. The students are asked to paint the cans with the theme “A Beautiful Charleston.”

KCB is thankful to CARTA, Lowe’s, Keep America Beautiful, and our wonderful Adopters for making AAS possible.

Bikes for the World Donates 100,000th Bike on America Recycles Day

In honor of America Recycles Day, a national initiative of Keep America Beautiful (KAB), Arlington-based nonprofit Bikes for the World donated its 100,000th bike for reuse on Saturday, Nov. 15, at a ceremonial loading of the bike into a shipping container headed to a community in Costa Rica. Representatives from KAB, the U.S. EPA and Fundación Integral Campesina (FINCA Costa Rica), joined Bikes for the World staff and volunteers at the event in Arlington.

“America Recycles Day is about reducing, reusing and recycling,” said Brenda Pulley, senior vice president, recycling, KAB. “This is one of the best examples of reuse, because this bike is getting a second life.”

“It really is a perfect example of taking what would be wasted and giving it value through reuse, while at the same time improving people’s lives,” said Charlotte Mooney, associate director resource conservation and sustainability division, U.S. EPA Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery, about the project.

The shipment of the donated bike will reach Bikes of the World partner FINCA Costa Rica on Dec. 10. The rural micro-business program will distribute the more than 500 bikes in this shipment to five community-based organizations that recondition and sell them locally,

“This project helps [recipients] have clean and cheap transportation and also allows them to raise money for their community funds that they use to give micro-loans to their members,” said Luis Jimenez, executive director, FINCA Costa Rica.

The partnership, which includes Bikes for the World’s other partnerships in Africa and Asia, improves rural communities not only by providing transportation and micro-loans, but also by creating jobs for those who refurbish the recycled bikes. Thus far, Bikes for the World has donated 20,000 bikes to FINCA Costa Rica alone.

“We’re putting these bikes where they have the most value. I think that’s a particular strength of this program,” said Keith Oberg, Bikes for the World executive director and board member. “We’ll certainly donate 100,000 more.”

(Pictured from left to right): Luis Jimenez, executive director, Fundación Integral Campesina (FINCA Costa Rica); Charlotte Mooney, associate director resource conservation and sustainability division, U.S. EPA Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery; Brenda Pulley, senior vice president/recycling, Keep America Beautiful; Keith Oberg, executive director, Bikes for the World, at Bikes for the World headquarters in Arlington, Va., on America Recycles Day.

Recycling Throughout Your Home on America Recycles Day 2014

America Recycles Day is November 15, a time to celebrate recycling and set new standards for your recycling habits for the rest of the year. With the national recycling rate of 34.5%, there is still so much work to be done to recycle more, to recycle right and to convert friends and family into recyclers.

A great way to step up your recycling game is to think about the recyclables throughout your entire home. Too often, Americans keep their recycling confined to the kitchen, but did you know there is so much more to recycle than just in the kitchen? Think about your workspace, for example, and how you could be recycling all of that paper you use. For every ton of paper recovered for recycling, 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space are saved! And how about your electronics? Electronics contain valuable precious metals such as gold, silver, platinum, palladium, copper, tin and zinc and can be recycled into jewelry, new electronics and more.

This year, America Recycles Day falls on a Saturday, so we challenge you to think outside of the kitchen and take some time to set up your entire house for recycling success:

• Explore other items in your home that can be recycled in the infographic below.
• Place recycling bins in different rooms of your home to make recycling easier.
• Talk with your family or roommates about your new plan.
• Solidify your commitment by pledging to keep it up all year long at http://www.americarecyclesday.org/.

The average American generates 4.4 pounds of trash per day, just think of all the potential of that trash! Do your part in caring for our environment and recycle. Let’s keep our planet beautiful for generations to come.

America Recycles Day 2014 is made possible by national sponsorship support from these leading companies: Amcor, American Chemistry Council, the Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Pilot Corporation of America (Pilot Pen) and Waste Management.