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Louisville Awarded Grants to Expand Equitable Recycling Access to 28,000 Households Across Urban Services District

The Recycling Partnership brings together the Southeast Recycling Development Council, the Kentucky and American Beverage Associations and Love Beauty Planet to award more than $1 million for large-capacity recycling carts this summer

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 25, 2021) – The Recycling Partnership along with the Southeast Recycling Development Council (SERDC), the Kentucky and American Beverage Associations, and Unilever’s Love Beauty and Planet brand have awarded $1,071,000 in grants to Louisville to increase the city’s collection of recyclables. The investments will fund 28,000 large, lidded, rolling recycling carts to residents in the Urban Services District who currently recycle with small bins.

Louisville was selected to receive these grant awards because of its dedication to advancing recycling in the community. The grants will also fund education and outreach efforts that help residents learn how and what to recycle as well as the community’s new collection schedule.

“Thanks to The Recycling Partnership, the Southeast Recycling Development Council, the Waste Management District, and all our funders for supporting our efforts to protect the environment and help us move toward the more efficient every other week recycling and yard waste collection system. This initiative is an additional tool to our already strong recycling program and reemphasizes our commitment to cleanliness in our city. When our city operates in a resourceful manner, it’s a win-win for everyone,” said Louisville Mayor, Greg Fischer.

The expansion of Louisville’s collection system increases these households’ recycling container capacity by more than five times. This allows for recycling pick-up every other week – a more cost-effective approach to recycling program resiliency. The Partnership estimates the recycling transformation will yield an additional 3.5 million pounds of recycled content for local producers.

“Louisville’s commitment to improving its recycling and collection programs demonstrates that positive program transformation builds resiliency, an opportunity The Partnership is uniquely positioned to support,” said Cody Marshall, Chief Community Strategy Officer at The Recycling Partnership. “We’re proud to support Louisville’s efforts to help households capture more quality recyclables, unlocking critical supply for the circular economy, and we are extremely grateful to all the partners – SERDC, American Beverage’s Every Bottle Back initiative in partnership with the Kentucky Beverage Association, and Unilever’s Love Beauty and Planet brand Louisville’s recycling transformation.”

This grant builds on The Recycling Partnership’s efforts to work with the private and public sector to address sustainability challenges in communities nationwide. In seven years, the Partnership has overseen the funding of more than 976,000 recycling carts in U.S. communities.

“Assisting communities to sustainably collect materials strengthens the supply chain and is paramount to providing good feedstock to our processors and manufacturers of these materials,” said Will Sagar, Executive Director of SERDC. “We are grateful that the Coca-Cola Foundation provides us the funding ability to offer these grants to our Southeastern communities.”

The $721,000 grant from The Recycling Partnership was funded in part by the Kentucky Beverage Association in partnership with American Beverage’s Every Bottle Back initiative. The initiative works with leading environmental and sustainability organizations – World Wildlife Fund, Closed Loop Partners and The Recycling Partnership – to reduce the beverage industry’s plastic footprint by increasing the number of bottles that are collected and remade into new ones.

“The Kentucky Beverage Association (KBA) was excited when American Beverage identified Louisville for an Every Bottle Back project,” said Sara Massey, Executive Director of KBA. “Now, we are thrilled to see this project come to fruition. It is a priority of the KBA and our member companies to ensure our bottles are remade, rather than ending up in Kentucky’s landfills, lakes, or rivers.”

The Partnership Recycling Resilience Fund, which was made possible in part by an initial donation from Unilever’s Love Beauty and Planet brand, is designed to help local recycling programs build resiliency after the challenges experienced as a direct result of COVID-19. This fund allows the continuation of ongoing recycling operations or programs that would otherwise be significantly impacted or curtailed as a direct result of budget shortfalls and strains on resources.

“Love Beauty and Planet is a beauty brand on a journey to make people and our planet a little more beautiful, and we’ve committed to reducing our environmental impact in many ways,” says Sonika Malhotra, Co-Founder and Global Brand Director of Love Beauty and Planet. “We believe small acts can add up to a big difference, so whether that’s creating refillable shampoo and conditioner bottles made of aluminum or working with The Recycling Partnership to help make it easier for communities like Louisville to recycle, we’re excited to drive change big and small.”

For more information on what can and can’t go into the cart, visit: Louisvilleky.gov/RecycleMore

  • For more information about the American Beverage Association’s Every Bottle Back initiative, visit everybottleback.org
  • For more information about The Recycling Partnership, visit recyclingpartnership.org
  • For more information about The Southeast Recycling Development Council, visit serdc.org.
  • For more information about Unilever’s Love Beauty and Planet brand, visit lovebeautyandplanet.com