UA’s campus recycling initiatives rewarded


For the second consecutive year, The University of Akron is receiving recycling bins from the Alcoa Foundation as part of its Recycling Bin Grant Program. Through the foundation's partnership with the national nonprofit Keep America Beautiful and the College and University Recycling Coalition, it has given more than 11,500 recycling bins to 35 colleges and universities across the country, including UA.

This year's award of 75 bins for use on The University of Akron campus is valued at $5,700. In 2012, UA was awarded 90 recycling bins, valued at $10,700. UA uses its recycling bins in both academic buildings and athletics facilities as part of its ongoing efforts to divert recyclables from the waste stream.

Friendly competition promotes change

The Alcoa Foundation Recycling Bin Grant Program aids schools in boosting their recycling results during the annual eight-week RecycleMania Tournament, and expand their recycling efforts throughout the year. RecycleMania is a friendly competition that aims to change behavior about recycling and raise awareness about waste reduction programs on college campuses. UA is now in its third year of participation.

"The immediate distribution of the awarded bins will certainly improve our position in the Recyclemania competition and help facilitate improved recycling throughout campus," says Andrew Henry, recycling superintendent at UA.

During RecycleMania, which concludes on March 31, colleges and universities vie for top awards in nine categories to see which schools recycle the most on a per capita basis, produce the least amount of waste and recycle the largest percentage of their overall waste. In 2012, 605 colleges and universities participated in the challenge, collecting more than 92 million pounds of recyclables and compostable organics.

Involvement increases awareness

"Alcoa Foundation has been a true leader in advancing recycling nationwide through its support of its bin grant and other programs," says Matthew M. McKenna, president and CEO of Keep America Beautiful. "Its involvement with RecycleMania and the College and University Recycling Coalition’s webinar series has helped to increase recycling on campuses and instill a recycling ethic that college students will carry with them the rest of their lives."

Additionally, the College & University Recycling Coalition (CURC), in partnership with Keep America Beautiful, and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), has educational webinars sponsored by the Alcoa Foundation. The CURC webinars feature recognized collegiate and industry recycling experts covering a range of topics related to sustainable materials management. All webinars are free to registered participants. See the schedule.

About Alcoa Foundation

Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S., with assets of approximately $460 million. Founded 60 years ago, Alcoa Foundation has invested more than $570 million since 1952. In 2012, Alcoa Foundation contributed more than $21 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the world, building innovative partnerships to improve the environment and educate tomorrow’s leaders for careers in manufacturing and engineering. The work of Alcoa Foundation is further enhanced by Alcoa’s thousands of employee volunteers who share their talents and time to make a difference in the communities where Alcoa operates. Through the company’s signature Month of Service program, in 2012, a record 60 percent of Alcoa employees took part in more than 1,050 events across 24 countries, benefiting more than 450,000 people and 2,050 nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit the Alcoa Foundation online and follow @AlcoaFoundation on Twitter.

About Keep America Beautiful

Keep America Beautiful is the nation’s leading nonprofit that brings people together to build and sustain vibrant communities. With a network of more than 1,200 affiliate and participating organizations, including state recycling organizations, we work with millions of volunteers to take action in their communities. Keep America Beautiful offers solutions that create clean, beautiful public places, reduce waste and increase recycling, generate positive impact on local economies and inspire generations of environmental stewards. Through our programs and public-private partnerships, we engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community’s environment. For more information, visit Keep America Beautiful online.

Media contact: Laura Massie, 330-972-6476 or