Monday, January 14, 2013

Alcoa, Alcoa Foundation and Keep America Beautiful Launch “Action to Accelerate Recycling” Commitment to Increase U.S. Recycling Rates

New York, NY (Sept. 24, 2012) – At the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting today, Alcoa (NYSE:AA), Alcoa Foundation and Keep America Beautiful (KAB) announced a national commitment to increase U.S. recycling rates. “Action to Accelerate Recycling” will generate awareness, create incentives, and provide recycling access and infrastructure to increase U.S. recycling of aluminum, plastic, glass and paper. The commitment, which includes $2 million in funding from Alcoa and Alcoa Foundation, is expected to engage millions of Americans and increase the current U.S. recycling rate by 10 percentage points. Increasing the rate to 75 percent would generate close to 300 additional tons of recycled content, resulting in the avoidance of more than 2,850 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

The U.S. recycling rate lags the rest of the world, which has financial and environmental implications: millions of dollars spent on landfills and transporting waste; billions of dollars lost from residual value of scrap; and missed opportunities to create green jobs. A recent report from the Blue-Green Alliance found that increasing recycling rates in the United States to 75 percent for all municipal solid waste would create 1.5 million jobs.

“For every can that is recycled, we save energy and money, reduce our environmental impact, and create economic opportunities in U.S. communities,” said Klaus Kleinfeld, Chairman and CEO of Alcoa. “Our partnership with Keep America Beautiful is a ‘call to action’ for companies, consumers and community organizations to make recycling a priority. Together with our industry partners, we set and can achieve an ambitious yet achievable 75 percent aluminum can recycling rate by 2015 in the U.S.”

“We are singularly focused on influencing people’s recycling behaviors at work, at home and at play through education, programs and awareness campaigns,” said Matt McKenna, president and chief executive. “One of our commitment’s key initiatives is the launch of a first-ever, multi-million-dollar national media campaign on recycling scheduled for early next year.”

“Action to Accelerate Recycling” includes the design and launch of global recycling programs that educate and activate people of all ages, incentivize behavior change, increase access to recycling bins, and help parks, housing complexes and universities build infrastructure to create and expand recycling programs.

“The Action to Accelerate Recycling” commitment includes:
Alcoa and Alcoa Foundation Initiatives:
  • “Pass the Can” - For every virtual can passed through this Facebook app, Alcoa Foundation will donate $1 (up to $75,000) to Keep America Beautiful, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Planet Ark to fund recycling programs around the world. For more information:
  • Net Impact - “Small Steps, Big Wins” Campus Challenge will reach 50 college campuses around the world as 500,000 students participate in environmental actions, including recycling initiatives.
  • - The largest youth-led aluminum recycling drive in the U.S.
  • Tailgate Recycling Programs - The Ohio State University, University of Tennessee, Purdue University and Clemson University will create innovative recycling programs that encourage fans to recycle in parking lots during football season.
  • Pennsylvania Resources Council - The program will educate consumers about the recyclability of pet food cans and create a model for collecting cans that is easily replicated.
Keep America Beautiful Initiatives:
  • Industry Pledge to Increase Recycling - Solicit industry to pledge a 10% increase in the recycling of aluminum, paper, plastic and glass in the workplace through variety of programs;
  • Recycling Media Campaign - Multi-media campaign to reach 200 million people; and,
  • State Fairs Recycling Initiative - Provides recycling access and develops best practices in 4-6 underserved public venues with funding from Alcoa.
“We are excited to create awareness, incentives and programs with dynamic non-profits and universities that share Alcoa’s passion for improving the environment,” said Paula Davis, president, Alcoa Foundation. “By tapping into strong existing networks and developing multiple programs online and on the ground, we will enlist students, professors, colleagues and friends all over the country in the drive to increase recycling, a meaningful step towards more sustainable and prosperous communities.”

About Keep America Beautiful
Keep America Beautiful is the nation's leading nonprofit that creates vibrant communities. With a strong affiliate and partnership network, the national nonprofit works with millions of volunteers to take action in their communities through programs that deliver positive and lasting change. For additional information, visit

About Alcoa Foundation
Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S., with assets of approximately US$446 million. Founded more than 50 years ago, Alcoa Foundation has invested more than US$550 million since 1952. In 2011, Alcoa Foundation contributed more than US$20 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the world, building innovative partnerships, engaging its people to improve the environment and educating tomorrow’s leaders. The work of Alcoa Foundation is further enhanced by Alcoa’s (NYSE:AA) thousands of employee volunteers who share their energy, passion and purpose to make a difference in the communities where Alcoa operates. Through the company’s signature Month of Service program, in 2011, a record 56 percent of Alcoa employees took part in more than 1,200 events across 24 countries, reaching 81,000 children, serving 9,000 meals, planting 34,000 trees and supporting 1,800 nonprofit organizations. More information can be found at

About the Clinton Global Initiative
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date CGI members have made more than 2,100 commitments, which are already improving the lives of nearly 400 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $69.2 billion.

CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at

About Alcoa
Alcoa is the world’s leading producer of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina. In addition to inventing the modern-day aluminum industry, Alcoa innovation has been behind major milestones in the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation, consumer electronics and industrial markets over the past 120 years. Among the solutions Alcoa markets are flat-rolled products, hard alloy extrusions, and forgings, as well as Alcoa® wheels, fastening systems, precision and investment castings, and building systems in addition to its expertise in other light metals such as titanium and nickel-based super alloys. Sustainability is an integral part of Alcoa’s operating practices and the product design and engineering it provides to customers. Alcoa has been a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for11 consecutive years and approximately 75 percent of all of the aluminum ever produced since 1888 is still in active use today. Alcoa employs approximately 61,000 people in 31 countries across the world. More information can be found at

Recycling efforts to Tennessee

Millions of people recycle at home and at work, but travel recycling has always been a challenge until now.
Tennessee state agencies have joined the effort.
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, the Tennessee Department of Transportation and the state Tourist Development department have started providing recycling services for cans and bottles at welcome centers, including those at I-75 Chattanooga and I-24 Tiftonia.
"Recycling away from home is one challenge that all recyclers face," said Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau in a news release. "Visitors to our state will now see receptacles with blue and green lids for recycling."
Welcome center visitors across the state also will have the opportunity to recycle at I-65 near Ardmore, I-81 at Bristol, I-24 at Clarksville, I-26 at Erwin, I-40 at Hartford, I-75 at Jellico, I-65 at Mitchellville and I-40 at Smith County.
TDEC spokeswoman Shannon Ashford said the program began with a pilot study at the Clarksville Welcome Center and grew to a few other locations to test the feasibility.
Orange Grove Recycling will help the effort locally.
Ashford said TDEC already coordinates Tennessee's State Facility Recycling Program to encourage workers in state offices to recycle mixed office paper, plastic and aluminum recycling, as well as nontraditional items, such as clothing, coat hangers, eyeglasses and greeting cards, for reuse, donation and recycling.
Since the program's start in 1990, state employees have recycled 18,791 tons of mixed office paper, saving $564,000 in landfill disposal costs while generating nearly $213,000 in recycling revenue.
The recycling revenues are deposited in the Solid Waste Management Fund, which is used to help local communities in their solid waste reduction efforts, Ashford said.
Contact staff writer Pam Sohn at psohn@timesfree or 423-757-6346.