Both Cobb County, Ga., and Lincoln, Neb., are receiving help to launch or expand Hefty EnergyBag programs.
Dow Chemical Co. and Keep America Beautiful Inc. are awarding $40,000 grants to organizations in each community.
It was just in January that Keep Cobb Beautiful received an initial $50,000 grant to establish its program, which began last month.
Keep Cobb Beautiful, an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, works with hauler American Disposal and WestRock Recycling to collect hard-to-recycle plastics through the EnergyBag program. Those plastics are used by Nexus Fuels to create low-sulfur fuels, oils and wax products.
The new funding will allow additional haulers and residential customers to participate, the grant administrators said.
The money for Lincoln expands on the EnergyBag efforts in that state. EnergyBag has been operating in the greater Omaha area since 2016 and was the first in the country.
"The success of the Omaha-area Hefty EnergyBag program over the last two years has captured the attention of Lincoln organizations," said Dale Gubbels, CEO of Firstar Fiber, the recycler that is administering the Lincoln grant. "Introducing the program to Lincoln is an exciting next step in Nebraska's plan to increase the quantity of materials we are recovering, thereby reducing the amount of waste going to our landfills."
EnergyBag programs, including the two full-scale efforts in the Omaha metropolitan area and Boise, Idaho, have collected more than 328,900 orange bags and collected more than 213 tons of plastics.
Orange energy bags are used to segregate hard-to-recycle plastics from traditional recyclables in recycling containers. Those bags are then aggregated by haulers and recyclers and used as an energy source.
An original EnergyBag pilot program used purple bags, but the color was changed to orange once Hefty and its orange branded packaging came on board as a program sponsor.