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Alcoa Foundation Sponsors Collegiate Recycling Challenge

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Alcoa Foundation Sponsors Collegiate Recycling Challenge

University of Tennessee at Knoxville to showcase donated bins at Recyclympics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Alcoa Foundation has joined forces with Keep America Beautiful as a key partner of RecycleMania, a nationwide college and university recycling competition.

During the 8-week challenge, colleges and universities compete to see which can reduce, reuse and recycle the most waste on campus. The goal is to change behavior about recycling and raise awareness about waste reduction programs on campuses.

Alcoa Foundation supplied 50,000 recycling bins and awarded 13 universities across the U.S. with stackable, six-gallon bins appropriate for use in student housing or offices. The schools were selected based on their ability to develop a strategic plan to collect the most recyclable materials.

University of Tennessee at Knoxville (UTK) received 8,000 recycling bins.

From February 6 through April 2, hundreds of institutions of higher education have been competing to see who recycles the most on a per capita basis, who produces the least amount of waste and who recycles the largest percentage of their overall waste.   After six weeks of competition, UTK’s recycling rates are up 25 percent compared to 2010 levels.

UTK plans to wrap up its RecycleMania competition with the Second Annual Recyclympics event from 1-3 p.m., Friday, April 1 on the TRECS Intramural Field, located at 2111 Volunteer Blvd., between TRECS and the Tom Black Track.

“It’s going to be awesome,” said Jay Price, UTK’s Environmental Coordinator. “We need as many people out there as possible to learn about how they can make a difference through recycling.  And at the same time, they can test their skills in our recycling games including the phone book shotput, recycling obstacle course, compact discus, the recycling bin moon boot race, and the battery bucket race.”

The event helps celebrate the fact that with the newly donated bins, UTK now can boast that 100 percent of its residence halls have recycling bins.    In addition to supplying bins to all student residents, UTK will be providing bins to the more than 2,000 offices on campus, according to Price.  Before, offices had bins for recycling paper, but nothing for aluminum, plastic and glass recyclables.

“Alcoa Foundation’s bin grant has allowed us to expand our recycling initiatives into areas of the campus that were previously underserved,” Price added.  “The 8,000 bins have been and will continue to be instrumental in helping us increase our overall recycling rates.”

“Alcoa has set a goal to increase the nationwide recycling rate of aluminum cans to 75% by 2015, and one way to do that is to make it more convenient for institutions like colleges and universities to recycle. The distribution of 50,000 bins across 13 college and university campuses – and the education and awareness that comes along with the donation – will be a giant step in the right direction,” said Beth Schmitt, Alcoa’s Director of Recycling.

The KAB partnership further reinforces Alcoa and Alcoa Foundation’s commitment to increasing recycling across communities. Since 2008, Alcoa has distributed more than 100,000 recycling bins, launched the Make an Impact program to help families live more sustainably, developed a free Aluminate™ recycling iPhone app, and invested nearly $3.5 million in community-based recycling programs in the last five years.

In announcing the partnership, Alcoa Foundation also launched a unique “Download to Donate” initiative, donating $1, up to $50,000, to KAB for every free Aluminate™ recycling app download, between America Recycles Day (November 15, 2010) and February 6, 2011. The funding will further strengthen KAB’s environmental education programs and recycling infrastructure.

For more information on UTK’s Recyclympics: www.pp.utk.edu/Recycle/

For more information on RecycleMania: www.recyclemania.com

Media Contact:
Christy Newman
(865) 250-9155
christy.newman@alcoa.com

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