March 2017 — Student-athletes and other visitors to the Mansfield schools’ athletic fields will no longer be tossing hundreds of recyclable beverage containers into the trash. Thanks to a grant request submitted by Keep Mansfield Beautiful, the Coca-Cola Company recently awarded 18 new outdoor recycling bins to the Mansfield school system.
“We have been partnering with Keep Mansfield Beautiful over the past few years to increase recycling within Mansfield’s schools,” said Teresa Murphy, assistant superintendent of Mansfield’s public schools. “We appreciate Keep Mansfield Beautiful’s efforts to win this grant, as these new outdoor bins will dramatically increase the availability of recycling at our schools’ athletic fields and elsewhere outside the school buildings.”
The 18 new bins were installed this week at Mansfield High School’s athletic fields, track, and other strategic locations outside the Qualters Middle School, the Jordan Jackson School, and the Robinson School.
Behavioral research has shown that two of the primary barriers that stop people from recycling are the lack of convenient opportunities and confusion about what and how to recycle. In addition to providing convenient opportunities to recycle, the Coca-Cola/Keep America Beautiful Public Space Recycling Bin Grant helps reduce confusion by providing bins that incorporate recognized best practices for bin design and labeling.
“The number one thing we can do to persuade people to recycle more is to make it more convenient,” said Neil Rhein, executive director of Keep Massachusetts Beautiful. “With Coca-Cola’s continued support, the grant program addresses that need by creating thousands of new opportunities for people to recycle in public areas across the country.”
In total, the Coca-Cola/Keep America Beautiful Public Space Recycling Bin Grant Program will provide 3,522 recycling bins to colleges and universities, along with 996 bins to local governments and nonprofit organizations. The recycling bins are made possible through a grant from The Coca-Cola Foundation, the philanthropic arm of The Coca-Cola Company.
More than 45 percent of the bins are designed specifically for permanent, ongoing use in public spaces such as athletic fields, K-12 schools, fairs, and festivals, special events and park settings, with the remaining 55 percent to be used by students in college residence hall settings. The 2016 program is expected to result in an estimated 1 million pounds of recyclable materials collected during their first year in use.
“At Coca-Cola, we are working with partners across the country to invest in, and support a strong recycling system,” said Bruce Karas, vice president of sustainability, Coca-Cola North America. “Through partnerships like the Keep America Beautiful and the Public Space Recycling Bin Grant program, we can help reduce overall waste by making it even easier and more convenient for people to recycle both at home and in public spaces.”
Grant recipients were chosen by Keep America Beautiful based on their potential to recycle the most cans and bottles, along with other considerations. A full list of the 2016 Coca-Cola/Keep America Beautiful Public Space Recycling Bin Grant recipients, as well as Keep America Beautiful’s best practices guide, “Designing Effective Public Space Recycling Programs,” is available at http://bingrant.org.