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Nashville Receives Investment to Support Increased Recycling Collection

The Recycling Partnership, American Beverage, and the Beverage Association of Tennessee invest in education for enhanced recycling collection, expected to generate millions of new pounds of recyclable material  

WASHINGTON D.C. – The City of Nashville on January 11 announced the launch of enhancements to modernize its recycling program with support in part from American Beverage and The Recycling Partnership. In total, $4.8 million will be used to replace the existing schedule of once-a-month collection and increase residential recycling collection frequency for 141,000 households. As part of this effort, an investment of $141,000 from The Recycling Partnership and American Beverage’s Every Bottle Back initiative will be used to help inform residents about the increased collection dates and provide education on best recycling practices. 

Beginning January 30, collection in the City of Nashville will increase from once-a-month to every other week bringing Nashville in line with many other large cities across the country. The change will also give residents the increased opportunity to participate in the recycling process while making recycling more convenient by creating a consistent schedule that is easier to remember with fewer weeks in between collection. Importantly, the investment will help to ensure more valuable recyclable materials, such as the beverage industry’s 100% recyclable plastic bottles, can be collected and increase the amount of feedstock supplied to manufacturers, including those nearby, to be remade into new products. 

“The Partnership has been honored to work with the city officials in Nashville providing not only grant funding, but also technical assistance for this improvement to happen,” said Cody Marshall, Chief Optimization Officer at The Recycling Partnership. “The change in collection frequency is expected to generate 156 million new pounds of recyclables over the next 10 years. That means more cardboard, more paper and cartons, more aluminum, and more plastic containers being recycled to become new products and packaging.” 

This shift in recycling collection requires intensive collaboration with infrastructure, operations, routing, as well as education and outreach. The Recycling Partnership has been working with the city to provide technical assistance in these facets, and the funding support from the Every Bottle Back initiative is critical for the education and outreach needed to inform residents about the change.  

The education includes an infocard mailed to each household in the city which serves a dual purpose. First, to inform the households of their new collection schedule. And second, to educate residents about what can be recycled in their curbside cart and what needs alternative disposal, in an effort to reduce contamination in carts.  

“American Beverage is excited to invest in Nashville’s recycling program through our Every Bottle Back initiative,” said Katherine Lugar, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of American Beverage. “This investment will help increase the city’s recycling rates by educating residents on which products can be recycled and encouraging participation in Nashville’s expanding recycling program. We are optimistic that through our collective efforts we can get more of our specially designed 100% recyclable bottles back and make the collection system work better than ever for all residents.”  

“The Beverage Association of Tennessee remains committed to making recycling easier and more convenient for residents to help prevent plastic from ending up where it doesn’t belong – in our environment and community spaces,” said Beverage Association of Tennessee President and CEO Greg Atkins. “This grant from the beverage industry is instrumental in helping us to achieve this goal and, ultimately, invest in the future of our great state. We are grateful for the generosity of American Beverage and leaders in Davidson County, and we are proud to help create a cleaner, more beautiful Nashville in 2023.” 

The increase in recycling collection frequency is expected to capture 6.1 million pounds of new polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and 2.3 million pounds of new aluminum.  

About The Recycling Partnership:  

At The Recycling Partnership, we are solving for circularity. As a mission-driven NGO, we are committed to advancing a circular economy by building a better recycling system. We mobilize people, data, and solutions across the value chain to reduce waste and our impact on the environment while also unlocking economic benefits. We work on the ground with thousands of communities to transform underperforming recycling programs; we partner with companies to achieve packaging circularity, increase access to recycled materials, and meet sustainability commitments; and we work with government to develop policy solutions to address the systemic needs of our residential recycling system and advance a circular economy. We foster public-private partnerships and drive positive change at every step of the recycling and circularity process. Since 2014, we have diverted 770 million pounds of new recyclables from landfills, saved 968 million gallons of water, avoided more than 670,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases, and driven significant reductions in targeted contamination rates. Learn more at recyclingpartnership.org.

About American Beverage’s Every Bottle Back initiative: 

Launched in 2019, the Every Bottle Back initiative is an integrated initiative to improve plastics circularity by The Coca-Cola Company, Keurig Dr Pepper, PepsiCo and Polar Beverages alongside sustainability leaders Closed Loop Partners, The Recycling Partnership and World Wildlife Fund. This effort supports individual sustainability commitments undertaken by The Coca-Cola Company, Keurig Dr Pepper and PepsiCo. Learn more about Every Bottle Back at www.EveryBottleBack.org