Congratulations, Earth 911….
...winner of the first Recycling Innovators Forum for an innovative technology to put more information about recycling in the hands of consumers! The winners of the Recycling Innovators’ Forum, sponsored in part by Alcoa, were announced on the eve of the 2013 Resource Recycling Conference in Louisville, KY – read more about Earth 911’s winning innovation here: http://resource-recycling.com/node/4119
More than 40 years after teaming up to create the iconic “crying Indian” advertising campaign, Keep America Beautiful and the Advertising Council have joined forces to promote the benefits of recycling. The new public service campaign, created by Pereira & O’Dell, uses a plastic bottle and aluminum cans — recycled, respectively, into a bench and sports stadium — to illustrate how recyclable materials can be given a second, useful life.
Established 60 years ago, Keep America Beautiful began collaborating with the Ad Council in 1960, initially using a character named Susan Spotless to promote anti-littering efforts with taglines like “Every litter bit hurts” and “Don’t be a litterbug.”
On Earth Day in 1971, the two organizations introduced the “crying Indian” commercial, which was created by Marsteller Advertising and featured the actor Iron Eyes Cody paddling a canoe through polluted waters and crying at the spectacle. Ad Age named the advertising — which was designed to promote individual responsibility in protecting the environment and ran until 1983 — one of the top 100 campaigns of the 20th century. Until the announcement of the new campaign last week, the Ad Council and Keep America Beautiful had not worked together since 1983.
Keep America Beautiful established a recycling department four years ago, and today focuses its efforts on waste diversion. It partners with state recycling organizations, government officials, trade associations and businesses to advance its recycling agenda.
According to data recently released by the Environmental Protection Agency, in 2011 the average American produced 4.4 pounds of trash per day, while the United States produced more than 250 million tons of trash that year. However, the E.P.A. also found that only about 35 percent of this trash was recycled. In addition, research conducted by the Ad Council earlier this summer found that just 52 percent of Americans said they were “very” or “extremely” knowledgeable about properly recycling, while only 38 percent identified themselves as “avid” recyclers.
Brenda Pulley, senior vice president for recycling of Keep America Beautiful, called the new public service campaign “the emotional push needed to raise awareness and positively change people’s behavior to recycle more. Our intent is to increase recycling rates, which translates into measurable benefits including waste reduction, energy savings, natural resource conservation and job creation.”
The new campaign — by the San Francisco-based Pereira & O’Dell, which is controlled by the São Paulo-based Grupo ABC — uses television, radio, outdoor and online advertising to promote Keep America Beautiful’s recycling agenda.
A radio spot begins with a child’s voice, saying, “When I grow up, I want to be a new pair of blue jeans.” Other children chime in with things like “a kid’s first computer,” “a glass countertop in a new home” and “a warm fleece on a cold day.” The spot concludes with a child saying: “When I grow up, I don’t want to be a piece of garbage. And if you recycle me, I won’t be.” The announcer then urges listeners to “give your garbage another life. Recycle. Learn how at IWanttoBeRecycled.org,” a new Web site that lets visitors search for local recycling centers by ZIP code.
Similarly, a TV spot, in 30- and 60-second versions, follows the journey of an empty plastic bottle as it tumbles from city to city and is placed by a passer-by into a recycling bin. Both spots end with a shot of a bench — made, in part, from the plastic bottle, now recycled — on a cliff overlooking the sea. The voice-over, representing the bottle, says: “Everybody has a dream. Mine was to see the ocean. With a little help, I made it.” The spots conclude with the tagline, “Give your garbage another life. Recycle.”
P.J. Pereira, chief creative officer of Pereira & O’Dell, said he hoped the metaphor of the journey of the “very delicate” plastic bottle would inspire people to remember to recycle when they threw out their garbage. Noting that “a lot of people are confused about what they should recycle,” Peggy Conlon, president and chief executive of the Ad Council, said the new campaign presented an opportunity to educate them. She also said the campaign was aimed at “the general market, people who are not currently avid recyclers.”
The new campaign is being underwritten by the American Chemistry Council, Waste Management, Nestle Waters North America, Niagara Bottling, Unilever, the Anheuser-Busch Foundation and the Alcoa Foundation; one of the TV spots was shot at M & T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, which is partially constructed from postconsumer recycled aluminum.
Candy Lee, a professor of integrated marketing communications at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, said the campaign “in a very attractive way creates the value of taking time to recycle.” Melissa Goodall, assistant director of the office of sustainability at Yale University, said that although Keep America Beautiful’s earlier Susan Spotless and “crying Indian” campaigns developed a “very personal and emotional connection” with audiences, it was not clear that “anthropomorphizing cans and bottles is going to inspire people to recycle. I think this campaign will appeal to people who are inclined to recycle. It will be interesting to see if it inspires people who don’t already recycle to do so.”
Allen Hershkowitz, director of the solid waste project of the Natural Resources Defense Council, called the new campaign “very welcome,” but questioned how effective it would be given that recycling programs in the United States are underwritten by financially-strapped municipal governments that must also fund education and social service initiatives, as well as police and fire departments. “As long as we rely on taxpayer-financed recycling programs, we will never achieve high recycling rates,” he said, adding that recycling is underwritten by consumer product companies “whose material winds up as waste” in 47 other countries around the world.
Corporate support of the new Keep American Beautiful campaign notwithstanding, Mr. Hershkowitz said the organization should focus its efforts on the need for consumer product companies to recycle. “We are wasting millions of tons of valuable resources in landfills and incinerators because consumer product companies do not pay a nickel for the recycling infrastructure needed to be developed,” he said.
Ivy Tech, University of Evansville and University of Southern Indiana compete for Alcoa’s local prize in annual RecycleMania Tournament
The three largest colleges in Evansville challenged each other in a nationwide recycling contest, and together they diverted more than 450,000 pounds of material from area landfills, scoring a sustainable win for the entire community.
Ivy Tech Community College, the University of Southern Indiana, and the University of Evansville participated in the eight-week RecycleMania competition, which rallies students, faculty and staff to increase on-campus recycling rates. The national contest, managed by Keep America Beautiful, is sponsored with assistance from the Alcoa Foundation. Locally, Alcoa Warrick Operations sponsors a local version of the contest, too.
All three of the local schools finished in the top tier of the national challenge for their per capita recycling rates and for the quantity of material collected during the recycling tournament. Nationwide, 523 colleges and universities participated.
Ivy Tech Southwest’s Evansville campus finished first in the local contest and ranked 93rd overall in the nation-wide contest. The school posted a recycling rate of 34 percent. In the state of Indiana, nine colleges participated, including the three from Evansville. During the challenge, the local schools saved the equivalent of 838 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
To further increase student enthusiasm in the contest, Alcoa Warrick Operations offered a cash prize of $1,500 to the local school that performed the best in the second half of the challenge, which ended March 30. Ivy Tech received the cash prize and a traveling trophy, created from crushed aluminum cans. The trophy was designed by Evansville artist Bob Zasadny.
"We applaud all of the RecycleMania participants for so enthusiastically stepping up to reduce more waste and increase recycling," said Alcoa Foundation President Paula Davis. "This program supports the aluminum industry's goal to increase can recycling rates in the U.S. to 75 percent by 2015,” she said. “By motivating and educating students, we're encouraging lifelong positive recycling behaviors that will reduce the need for landfills and save substantial amounts of energy and money."
Ivy Tech Southwest Chancellor Dr. Dan Schenk said he is proud of the work that students, staff and faculty did during RecycleMania, boosting the school’s recycling rate and taking sustainable actions to improve the environment.
“We’d like to thank Alcoa for the leadership it has shown in sponsoring this contest, both nationally and locally,’ he said. Schenk said every classroom on the main campus of Ivy Tech Southwest has a recycling bin, which enhances the school’s recycling efforts. “In addition, Ivy Tech has a regional ‘Green Team’ to promote recycling and other Earth friendly initiatives year-round,” he said.
The presidents of both USI and UE congratulated Ivy Tech for its victory. In the three years of the local contest, each school has now had a victory in the local challenge.
University of Southern Indiana President Linda L.M. Bennett said USI has increased its recycling rate 12 percentage points. “In the years to come, USI aspires to recycle two-thirds of all of our materials," she said. "If we continue to educate our USI community, we will reach this goal. We congratulate Ivy Tech and UE on their educational efforts to improve recycling as well."
University of Evansville President Thomas Kazee, whose school won the inaugural Intra-city RecycleMania challenge, congratulated Ivy Tech and praised this annual contest. “RecycleMania benefits our entire community by highlighting the importance of recycling and sustainability, demonstrating how everyday actions make a difference,” Kazee said. “Hopefully, for all participants, the mindsets and actions developed during RecycleMania will far outlast the competition itself."
Though it is the most recycled package on earth, we are still losing more than 40 billion cans a year in U.S. landfills. Help preserve our planet by recycling. Don't know where to recycle? Use our locator: http://www.alcoa.com/recycling/en/recycling.asp
Alcoa Foundation and Keep America Beautiful Help Students Recycle
Foundation Provides More Than 11,500 Recycling Bins for Campus Initiatives
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Alcoa Foundation is partnering with Keep America Beautiful and the College & University Recycling Coalition to provide more than 11,500 recycling bins to 35 colleges and universities throughout the United States. These recycling bins will help to expand on-campus recycling programs and raise awareness about the environmental impact of recycling.
The Alcoa Foundation Recycling Bin Grant Program was created to help schools boost their recycling results during the eight-week RecycleMania tournament, and strengthen their recycling efforts by reaching more than 300,000 students, staff, faculty, and campus visitors throughout the year. RecycleMania, which concludes on March 31, is a competition that aims to change behavior about recycling and raise awareness about waste reduction programs on college campuses.
“We’re proud to partner with Keep America Beautiful and the College & University Recycling Coalition to provide more than 11,500 recycling bins to college and university campuses,” said Paula Davis, President, Alcoa Foundation. “The recycling bin grant program reinforces Alcoa and Alcoa Foundation’s commitment to increasing recycling rates in the U.S. to 75 percent by 2015.”
“Alcoa Foundation has been a true leader in advancing recycling nationwide through its recycling bin grant and other programs,” said Matthew M. McKenna, President and CEO, Keep America Beautiful. “Its involvement with RecycleMania and the College and University Recycling Coalition’s webinar series has helped to increase recycling on campuses and instill a recycling ethic that college students will carry with them the rest of their lives.”
The grantees will each receive between 100 and 1,500 recycling bins in different on-campus settings – student housing and academic buildings, athletic facilities, administrative offices and in outdoor public spaces. This year’s variety of recycling bins has enabled selected schools to install additional recycling infrastructure where they need it most in an effort to divert recyclables from the waste stream.
The Alcoa Foundation Recycling Bin Grant Program recipients are:
Additionally, the College & University Recycling Coalition (CURC), in partnership with Keep America Beautiful (KAB) and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), has announced the schedule for its 2013 series of educational webinars, sponsored by Alcoa Foundation. CURC webinars feature recognized collegiate and industry recycling experts covering a range of topics related to sustainable materials management. All webinars are free to registered participants. For a complete schedule of webinars, go to curc3r.org.
About Alcoa Foundation
Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S., with assets of approximately US$460 million. Founded 60 years ago, Alcoa Foundation has invested more than US$570 million since 1952. In 2012, Alcoa Foundation contributed more than US$21 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the world, building innovative partnerships to improve the environment and educate tomorrow’s leaders for careers in manufacturing and engineering. The work of Alcoa Foundation is further enhanced by Alcoa’s thousands of employee volunteers who share their talents and time to make a difference in the communities where Alcoa operates. Through the Company’s signature Month of Service program, in 2012, a record 60 percent of Alcoa employees took part in more than 1,050 events across 24 countries, benefiting more than 450,000 people and 2,050 nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit www.alcoafoundation.com and follow @AlcoaFoundation on Twitter.
About Keep America Beautiful
Keep America Beautiful is the nation’s leading nonprofit that brings people together to build and sustain vibrant communities. With a network of more than 1,200 affiliate and participating organizations including state recycling organizations, we work with millions of volunteers to take action in their communities. Keep America Beautiful offers solutions that create clean, beautiful public places, reduce waste and increase recycling, generate positive impact on local economies and inspire generations of environmental stewards. Through our programs and public-private partnerships, we engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community’s environment. For more information, visit kab.org.