Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Coca-Cola and Keep America Beautiful today announced a $2.59 million grant to support the citywide expansion of the Blue Cart Recycling Program through the purchase of 50,000 blue carts over the next five years.
“Chicago residents have been asking for citywide recycling services for many years, and this grant will help expand blue cart recycling to all communities by the end of 2013 and pay for damaged and replacement carts for years to come,” said Mayor Emanuel. “With the help of Coca-Cola and Keep America Beautiful, Chicago will become a greener, more sustainable city.”
The Coca-Cola Company and its philanthropic arm, The Coca-Cola Foundation, are granting $2.59 million over the next five years to Keep America Beautiful to increase citywide recycling and inspire Chicagoans to recycle more. The investment supports Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to make Chicago “the greenest city in the world” and bring blue cart recycling to all 50 wards in the city.
“Our actions supporting Chicago’s sustainability reflect our belief that when we all work together, real progress happens,” said Steve Cahillane, President & CEO, Coca-Cola Americas. “By bringing business, government and community organizations, like Keep Chicago Beautiful, together, we can help create long-term solutions – here in Chicago and across the globe.”
Through a one-time grant from The Coca-Cola Foundation to Keep America Beautiful, 25,000 new recycling carts will be delivered to Chicago neighborhoods this year to turn sustainability from an idea into a reality. In addition, The Coca-Cola Company will donate an additional 25,000 recycling carts over the next five years.
Coca-Cola has partnered with Keep America Beautiful for more than 60 years. Together, they have helped expand access to recycling in more than 150 communities.
The blue cart recycling program provides bi-weekly recycling collection services to residents who live in single family homes, two-, three- and four-flat buildings. The expansion will include 340,000 households and is scheduled to be complete by the fall of 2013. The City began expanding blue cart service in March. Currently, 327,000 households receive blue cart recycling service.
The latest expansion represents a cross section of the city, and residents who live within the boundaries of the April expansion area began receiving carts on April 15 and recycling collection services will begin as early as April 29. Subsequent phases will be announced as collection schedules and routes are finalized. Chicago’s recycling service providers include the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation, Sims Municipal Recycling, and Waste Management.
“For more than sixty years, our focus has been to create communities that are socially connected and environmentally healthy,” said Matthew McKenna, President and CEO, Keep America Beautiful. “Through programs and public-private partnerships, such as the curbside cart program, we are able to encourage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community’s environment.”
Coca-Cola will also work with Jewel-Osco to promote a community recycling awareness program. The more Chicagoans challenge themselves to integrate recycling into their everyday lives, the bigger the prize for their families and communities – including equipment to help them get active at their local parks.
The Blue Cart Residential Recycling Program is a single stream recycling system in which all recyclable materials are collected and transported together. Recyclables are transported in designated recycling trucks to avoid contamination with regular garbage. Materials are taken to a City-approved recycling center where they are sorted into separate materials then baled or packaged for delivery to manufacturers who reprocess or reuse the materials products.
This recycling and education program affirms Mayor Emanuel’s commitment to create a healthier and more sustainable Chicago. Late last year, Mayor Emanuel joined Coca-Cola in its announcement of a Coca-Cola Foundation grant to Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance creating the Park Families Wellness Initiative (PFWI). The initiative, which is run by the Chicago Park District, allows the Park District to hire U.S. veterans to teach military-style fitness classes called “Coca-Cola Troops for Fitness.” PFWI is available in more than 60 community facilities reaching 125,000 residents annually by 2016, making the Park District the leading provider of affordable health programs in the city.
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