US cities recycle over 190m aluminum cans during national challenge
The U.S. Conference of Mayors, Novelis Inc. and Keep America Beautiful, Inc. (KAB) have announced the winners in the fourth annual Cans for Cash: City Recycling Challenge at the U.S. Conference of Mayors 76th Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C. To encourage recycling, the program challenges like-sized cities to compete against each other in aluminum can collection for monetary awards. During October 2007, more than 50 cities collected over 191 million used beverage cans.
'Through the City Recycling Challenge, we continue to actively promote and encourage growth in aluminum can recycling programs in communities,' said Kevin Greenawalt, President, Novelis North America. 'In addition to its economic benefits, recycling reduces carbon emissions which helps combat climate change, so it is more important than ever to energize community recycling and build a sustainable environment. By recycling these aluminum cans, cities avoided more than 24,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, which is equivalent to taking more than 25,000 cars off the road for a year.'
'We are proud that our Cans for Cash Program helped jump-start existing programs and redirected many communities to focus on a common goal,' said Douglas H. Palmer, Trenton Mayor and President of The U.S. Conference of Mayors. 'The City Recycling Challenge is an excellent example of the type of sustainable initiatives we are encouraging through the U.S. Conference of Mayors' 10-Point Plan. As outlined in the 10-Point Plan, cities are encouraged to implement programs to improve community energy efficiency and reduce community carbon emissions. The goals of the Recycling Challenge complement this and demonstrate how aluminum can recycling positively impacts the environment. Participating cities should be excited and proud that they contributed to the recycling of more than 4.5 million pounds of aluminum cans.'
The winners of the $5,000 awards for the most aluminum cans recycled are:
-- Division One (population 250,000+) Milwaukee, WI* - 1,385,328 pounds, Mayor Tom Barrett
-- Division Two (population 100,000-249,999) Fontana, CA* - 774,614 pounds, Mayor Mark Nuami
-- Division Three (population 50,000-99,999) Des Plaines, IL - 1,120,660 pounds, Mayor Anthony Arredia
-- Division Four (population below 50,000) Richmond, IN* - 43,381 pounds, Mayor Sally Hutton
* Note: 2006 Winners in Division Category
To help mayors engage their communities in recycling and raise awareness about its importance over the long term, cities submitted innovative education and marketing ideas for an additional $5,000 award. The cities being recognized for the most innovative campaigns are as follows:
-- Division One: Austin, TX, Mayor Will Wynn
-- Division Two: Irvine, CA, Mayor Beth Crom
-- Division Three: Fargo, ND, Mayor Dennis Walaker
-- Division Four: Poland OH, Mayor Christine Yash
The following winning cities will be awarded $5,000 and their local Keep America Beautiful, Inc. affiliate will be awarded $2,500:
-- Division One: Louisville, KY*, Mayor Jerry E. Abramson
-- Division Two: Irving, TX, Mayor, Herbert Gears
-- Division Three: Evanston, IL, Mayor Lorraine H. Morton
-- Division Four: LaGrange, GA, Mayor Jeff Lukken
'As a leader in promoting sustainable recycling programs, KAB is pleased to partner with Novelis and the U.S. Conference of Mayors on the Cans for Cash program,' said KAB President, Matt McKenna. 'Our affiliates in Louisville, LaGrange, Irving and Evanston are to be commended for their innovative efforts to promote and increase aluminum can recycling. Their successful strategies can be shared with KAB's national network of nearly 1,000 affiliates and participating organizations, further stimulating recycling efforts across the country.'
The aluminum can is the country's most recycled beverage container and has been for more than 20 years. In 2006, U.S. recyclers recovered nearly 52% of the more than 100 billion aluminum beverage cans were produced in the country. Still, more than a billion dollars worth of aluminum cans were unrecovered, highlighting the importance of programs such as Cans for Cash to raise awareness of recycling's benefits.