In advance of America Recycles Day, Stamford, Connecticut-based Keep America Beautiful and Zephyrhills, a Nestle Waters brand of natural spring water, are recognizing four Florida communities that have increased their on-the-go recycling rates with the help of a grant from Zephyrhills. The grant funded 220 recycling bins (100 event recycling and 120 permanent bins) to increase access to recycling on beaches and at other public recreation locations along Florida’s waterways. Together, Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, Keep Indian River Beautiful, Keep Wakulla County Beautiful and the city of Crystal River, Florida, have enabled their communities to recycle nearly 320,000 bottles and cans in the past six months. That equates to roughly 440 recyclables per permanent recycling bin per month, Keep America Beautiful says.
In April 2017, Keep America Beautiful and Zephyrhills teamed up to distribute these recycling bins to help keep plastic out of the waterways and landfills and to reduce litter in key Florida recreation areas. This past summer, Zephyrhills expanded the grant to these four communities by gifting picnic tables and bike racks made from 100 percent recycled plastic.
Florida’s current recycling rate is 54 percent and the state says it aims to reach 75 percent by 2020. Increased access to recycling on-the-go will help the state reach this recycling goal, Keep America Beautiful says.
“We are committed to helping improve recycling rates throughout Florida, and we are grateful to and proud of these Keep America Beautiful affiliate organizations for playing such a critical role in making on-the-go recycling available to everyone,” says Luis Martinez, Zephyrhills east regional sales manager, who also serves on the board of directors for Keep Florida Beautiful. “We hope that the recycled plastic picnic tables and bike racks will help residents and visitors enjoy the recreation areas while serving as a reminder that waste can become a valuable resource—if it is recycled properly.”
In addition to recycling bins, Keep America Beautiful provided best practice guidance to grant recipients about setting up effective away-from-home recycling programs. In turn, grant recipients tracked the quantity and composition of the recyclables and waste collected to learn how to continue to improve their recycling programs.
“As we celebrate America Recycles Day, Keep America Beautiful applauds the residents and visitors of these four communities for recycling while on the go,” says Brenda Pulley, senior vice president, recycling, Keep America Beautiful. “As a result, these materials will have a new life as they are used to create new products. The recycled plastic benches and bike racks these communities have received are testaments that recycling makes a difference.”
“Because of the tremendous impact visitors have on our economy, Keep Wakulla County Beautiful was profoundly grateful to have been the recipient of the Zephyrhills bin grant,” says Jo Ann Palmer, executive director, Keep Wakulla County Beautiful. “We want all those who come here to help protect our fragile environment, and our entire community has benefited from the permanent placement of the easy-to-see, easy-to-access and convenient-to-use bins. We have successfully placed a bin at every public entryway into our beautiful Gulf of Mexico waters, local lakes and river boat ramps. This availability has made a positive impact on reducing litter and the use of trash cans by providing an on-the-go way for visitors and locals to properly dispose of recyclable items.”