Colleges, K-12 schools, nonprofits and local governments hope to get a boost to their recycling efforts this summer thanks to a significant grant made possible by The Coca-Cola Foundation. The winning communities, schools and organizations will receive a total of 8,925 recycling bins designed specifically for permanent, ongoing use in heavily-trafficked public spaces and events.

In its seventh year, the Recycling Bin Grant Program expanded in 2012 to include a college and university category in addition to the traditional focus on municipalities and local nonprofit organizations.

"Through our partnership with Keep America Beautiful, the Coca-Cola Bin Grant Program supports local community recycling efforts across the United States," says Lori George Billingsley, vice president of community relations for Coca-Cola Refreshments. “We are pleased that these bins, conveniently placed in parks, communities, public spaces and college campuses, will provide thousands of additional opportunities for people to recycle.”

In addition to colleges and universities, 85 K-12 schools, community groups, local governments and nonprofit organizations in 40 states will be receiving a total of 1,860 recycling bins as part of the annual Public Space Bin Grant Program.

Schools: 76 applications received, 46 grants made

The inaugural college and university portion of the grant saw 176 applications in its first year, with 46 receiving grants. Recipients include schools of all sizes, from small institutions like Kankakee Community College in Illinois to large universities such as the University of Mississippi and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. Recipient colleges will use the grants to expand recycling across campus, including 19 who will place bins in student housing, 22 placing them in athletic facilities and playing fields, 20 in classrooms and offices, and 16 targeting additional outdoor public areas such as pathways and building lobbies.

George Mason University is typical of many college recipients with its plan to provide every residence hall room with its own recycling bin. The 1,000 bins they receive will help the university achieve their near term goal of increasing the campus recycling rate from 14 percent to 20 percent.

“Providing infrastructure for people to recycle on-the-go in our communities is a key component of making recycling a natural thing to do,” says  Matthew M. McKenna, president and CEO, Keep America Beautiful. “We are truly grateful for Coca-Cola’s support and commitment to recycling, which is so well demonstrated by the Coca-Cola Bin Grant Program.”

Recipients were chosen by Keep America Beautiful based on a number of criteria including level of need, recycling experience and the ability of applicants to sustain their program in the future.

The Bin Grant Program awards recycling bins directly to recipients and leverages volume buying discounts. In its seven years of operation, the Bin Grant Program has placed 29,000 recycling bins in over 500 communities in 48 states and the District of Columbia.  A full list of the spring 2012 Recycling Bin Grant recipients and further information about the grant program is available at http://bingrant.org/