GCC Improves Recycling

Greenfield Community College received 50 large recycling bins designed specifically for placement alongside the college’s trash receptacles as part of a national recycling bin grant made possible by Keep America Beautiful (KAB) and The Coca-Cola Foundation.

In its 9th year, the Coca-Cola/KAB Recycling Bin Grant Program is providing nearly 4,500 recycling bins to colleges and universities, nonprofits and local governments. Recipients were chosen by Keep America Beautiful based on criteria including the extent of their need, recycling experience and their ability to sustain the program in the future.

“Greenfield Community College is a national leader amongst community colleges in its sustainability/renewable energy programming,” said GCC President Robert Pura, “so this grant opportunity was a perfect fit to help us expand our existing efforts and reinforce our strong values for a sustainable and healthy planet.”

Pura also expressed appreciation for the Keep America Beautiful and Coca-Cola Foundations’ focus on reaching out to community colleges. Coca-Cola has expanded its investment in the bin grant program to include a specific focus on two-year community colleges, with 15 recycling bin grants going to two-year colleges and 28 grants going to traditional four-year colleges and universities.

GCC’s recycling program began a decade ago as a volunteer effort by members of the faculty, staff and student communities (now the GCC Green Campus Committee) who sought to raise awareness of the benefits of sustainable activities and reduce the college’s contribution to the waste stream. Since the time, the Facilities Department, headed by Director Jeffrey Marques, has incorporated recycling into its work activities, effectively institutionalizing the effort. Although a number of large recycling bins have been purchased over the years and are in use, the cost of reaching the goal of having one recycling bin next to every trash receptacle has not been attainable. This grant leaps the college toward success.

“By providing recycling bins to communities, organizations and universities, we can make a difference in increasing recycling in the U.S. and help overcome a main barrier of recycling – convenience,” said Brenda Pulley, senior vice president, recycling, Keep America Beautiful. “We are truly grateful for Coca-Cola’s continued support and commitment to recycling, and the Recycling Bin Grant Program.”

“Through this program and our more than 50-year partnership with Keep America Beautiful, we are helping to ensure that communities understand the importance of recycling,” said Lori George Billingsley, vice president, community relations, Coca-Cola North America. “Community recycling not only impacts the environment today, but it helps build sustainable communities for the future.”

The Coca-Cola/KAB Recycling Bin Grant Program awards recycling bins directly to recipients and leverages volume buying discounts. Since 2007, the program has placed more than 35,000 recycling bins in over 500 communities across the U.S.