Coca-Cola Co. and the National Recycling Coalition hope a newly formed grant program will help increase the number of beverage recycling containers some communities, businesses, nonprofits and schools use.
Twice a year, NRC will choose an unspecified number of organizations and purchase collection bins for them, typically in the 20-40 gallon range, using funds from Coca-Cola. About $75,000 worth of containers will be purchased each time the grants are awarded, beginning next month. Upward of 3,000 or more bins could be bought in each grant period.
NRC and Coca-Cola will choose the recipients based on where they anticipate the grants will provide the most benefit, an NRC spokesman said.
Washington-based NRC said the idea is to use the purchasing power of Atlanta's Coca-Cola to help organizations obtain more recycling containers than the beneficiaries would be able to purchase if they were to buy on their own.
The first deadline is Oct. 26, with the awards scheduled to be announced Nov. 15. NRC said it expects around 500 applications in the first round. The next set will be in the spring.
Eligible activities include the establishment or expansion of a recycling program at a school, a university, sporting or recreational venue, park or cultural event, as well as at a business or commercial location.
An NRC spokesman said the program was a way of setting up a formal structure to respond to the need of organizations for bins and frequent requests for bins.
Coca-Cola markets many of its beverages in either PET or aluminum containers. The PET recycling rate has fallen to 23 percent from 39 percent in 1994. Aluminum can recycling has dropped from almost 68 percent in 1992 to slightly less than 52 percent in 2006.