Pittsburgh-based Alcoa is the inaugural winner of the LEAP award for recycling leadership presented by the Southeast Recycling Development Council (SERDC), an organization based in Brevard, N.C., that promotes recycling in the Southeast United States. The award recognizes corporate leadership in the drive to increase recycling rates in the region.
“SERDC is pleased to recognize Alcoa's longstanding commitment to recycling and materials management,” says Will Sagar, executive director of SERDC. “Alcoa has been proactive in supporting collection of materials, not only aluminum, but all recyclables. Alcoa's responsible approach and investment in infrastructure has demonstrated leadership that serves as a model for the industry. We look forward to continuing our collaborative effort with Alcoa and others to promote sustainable recycling in 11 southeastern states.”
Beth Schmitt, director of recycling programs for Alcoa, says, “Alcoa is proud to accept this first LEAP award, but even prouder of the collaborative work we do with SERDC and its members. Collaboration is the cornerstone of the Action to Accelerate Recycling initiative we announced last month at the Clinton Global Initiative.”
Action to Accelerate Recycling is designed to generate awareness, create incentives and provide recycling access and infrastructure to increase the domestic recycling of aluminum, plastic, glass and paper. The commitment, which includes $2 million in funding from Alcoa and the Alcoa Foundation, is expected to engage millions of Americans and to increase the current U.S. recycling rate by 10 percent, according to Alcoa.
Schmitt adds, “Despite increases in the number of cans recycled in the U.S. last year, we have a long way to go. “Aluminum cans are infinitely recyclable and when we recycle them, we save 95 percent of the energy needed to make aluminum cans from scratch. Recycling those cans creates real value, and it creates jobs in the southeast. That’s why no can should ever see a landfill.”