- The Coca-Cola Foundation has funded a $300,000 grant to Keep America Beautiful for the ninth annual Public Space Recycling Bin Grant Program.
- This year's program is expected to fund more than 5,300 recycling bins which help collect about 1 million pounds of recyclable materials around streets, playgrounds, schools and other public spaces.
- Since the program started in 2007, about 900 organizations, municipal agencies and community groups have received funding for more than 45,000 bins.
According to a 2009 survey from Keep America Beautiful, nearly 80% of public spaces don't have accessible recycling options. While some people may wait to recycle their items at home, many others either throw them in the closest trash can or end up littering. The prevalence of single-serving drink bottles and other disposable items makes this a relevant issue for Coca-Cola.
Some cities have many public recycling options, but it's not uncommon to walk around a neighborhood for miles without seeing one. The National Park Service has struggled with getting visitors to recycle properly even when bins are available. The New York subway system and other areas have actually taken the opposite approach by removing all waste cans, which has received mixed results.
Even if people do use the bins, they may not always separate their material properly, which can make collection and processing harder for the municipalities in charge of managing them. Rhode Island recently became the first state to adopt Recycle Across America's universal labeling system which could make this process easier for people regardless of where they're trying to recycle and potentially encourage more participation.