Alcoa, Alcoa Foundation, and Keep America Beautiful (KAB) will design initiatives that generate awareness of recycling, create incentives and provide access and infrastructure - ultimately to increase recycling rates in the U.S. The aluminum industry has set a goal to achieve a 75 percent recycling rate by 2015. Through our joint commitment, Alcoa, Alcoa Foundation and KAB will advance this goal as well as those for plastic, glass and paper by launching a series of specific national and local tactics that engage different constituencies at home, at work and at play, to recycle more. Alcoa and Alcoa Foundation will commit $2 million to actions benefiting communities and academic institutions (see below). Alcoa also will invest and lend its recycling expertise, including its recycling arm, and corporate networks to create 'a tipping point' for recycling participation around the country. KAB will enlist its corporate and recycling partners to join the national effort and will lend its authority to informing people about recycling and driving changes to impact different social behaviors that value recycling.
To generate awareness, Alcoa Foundation will help fund a Keep America Beautiful (KAB) recycling campaign with the Ad Council that will reach 200 million people through traditional and digital media outlets (equivalent to a $30 million annual media value). KAB will launch a commitment strategy (e.g. pledge) to secure greater recycling at 50 businesses and organizations. In addition to pledging a 10 percent increase in the recycling of aluminum, paper, plastic and glass in the workplace, pledgees will commit to take actions ranging from increasing recycling awareness among employees to procuring more recycled content materials. Alcoa Foundation will grant a minimum of $2 million over 2012 and 2013 to fund new innovative recycling programs throughout the United States that educate and activate students of all ages, incentivize behavior change, increase access to recycling bins and help parks, housing complexes and universities build infrastructure to both create and expand recycling programs. Alcoa Foundation will fund a Net Impact green action App called 'Small Steps, Big Changes' that will reach 50 college campuses around the world and 500,000 students with many activities focused on recycling. Alcoa Foundation is also sponsoring the largest youth-led aluminum recycling drive in the U.S. in partnership with DoSomething.org, activating a minimum of 40,000 youth at more than 4,000 schools across the U.S. to recycle 30 tons of aluminum. Alcoa and Alcoa Foundation will launch the 'Pass the Can' Facebook app - for every click, Alcoa Foundation will donate $1 (up to $75,000) to IUCN, Keep America Beautiful and Planet Ark to fund recycling programs around the world. Alcoa Foundation is partnering with The Ohio State University, University of Tennessee, Purdue University, Clemson University and potentially three additional universities to create innovative tailgate recycling programs during football season that encourage fans to recycle materials in parking lots. Alcoa Foundation is also sponsoring a pilot project run by the Pennsylvania Resources Council to increase the recycling rates of aluminum pet food cans in Evansville IO, Pittsburgh PA and Knoxville TN. The program will educate consumers about the recyclability of pet food cans and create a model for collecting cans that is easily replicated. All together, these new Alcoa Foundation recycling partnerships will lead to more than 90 tons of recycled material.
Alcoa Corporation, through Alcoa's recycling arm, will design and execute pilot programs designed to 'move the needle' in residential communities and recreational areas. These efforts, centered around the next phase of our Action to Accelerate Recycling initiative, will be done in partnership with other partner corporations. At least one residential recycling pilot program will be executed through these partnerships in 2013.
To provide access and develop best practices in underserved public venues, Alcoa and KAB will launch away-from-home pilot programs at four to six large cultural events (e.g. state and county fairs) to document approaches (both operational and behavioral) and results, as well as develop and share cost-effective best practices. This program will reach 500,000 individuals. The amount of material diverted, recycled and composted will be measured, and the program learnings will be shared with relevant audiences to further expand reach and impact.
According to Alcoa and others, the U.S. beverage can recycling rate dramatically lags the rest of the world: 53 percent vs. 73 percent globally. This has staggering 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. According to the EPA, recycled aluminum takes 5 percent of the energy needed to produce it from scratch and recycling 1 ton of recycled aluminum saves 9.5 tons of greenhouse gasses (GHG). And while aluminum accounts for just 2 percent of the waste stream, it is worth tens of millions of dollars in revenue that can support municipal recycling programs (Alcoa). Glass, plastic, and paper also pose challenges and enormous opportunities for recycling.