Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful

The Terry Lee Wells Discovery Museum (The Discovery), Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful (KTMB), and Waste Management (WM) collaborated for a “Waste Warriors Week” of educational activities at The Discovery during the week of June 15-21, 2015. Waste reduction and recycling activities were featured from KTMB’s popular Waste Warriors curriculum (made possible by a 2012 Waste Management/KAB Think Green Grant). During “Waste Warriors Week,” The Discovery, KTMB and WM volunteers and staff dedicated more than 240 hours to design and facilitate eight hands-on activities and demonstrations. This project and partnership successfully inspired about 3,000 kids and adults to be creative in the way they reduce their waste and reuse common items they might otherwise throw away or recycle, further encouraging them to practice and share what they learned in the Truckee Meadows community.

Keep Charleston Beautiful, Charleston, SC

Waste Management Think Green Grant – “Where Does Waste Go?” Field Trips!

Keep Charleston Beautiful (KCB) , Charleston County Environmental Management, and Charleston County School District teamed up for the 2014/2015 Keep America Beautiful/Waste Management Think Green Grant to provide free field trips for local schools to the area’s recycling center and landfill/compost facility. School transportation was paid for using grant funds and Charleston County provided free tours upon arrival. Charleston County School District promoted the grant through emails and website posts.

KCB was thrilled to received applications for the free trips from 23 different schools, 12 of which are Title I schools. Nineteen schools went on the trips using grant-provided funds. Thirteen teachers responded to the follow-up survey: nine indicated they would not have been able to send their students on these field trips without the Think Green Grant; two teachers said they possibly could have but likely not; two said they would have gone without grant funds.

The Think Green Grant also provided KCB with the opportunity to print customized posters featuring real students inspiring other students. The posters are provided for free to all schools in Charleston.

The KAB/Waste Management Think Green Grant provided over 1,200 local students with the opportunity to learn where their waste goes. THANK YOU!

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.