Big Bear Selected for Curbside Recycling Investment Under Beverage Industry’s ‘Every Bottle Back’ Initiative in collaboration with The Recycling Partnership

Curbside recycling expansion in Big Bear, Calif., made possible through public-private partnerships spearheaded by America’s leading beverage companies 

BIG BEAR, Calif. – The American Beverage Association, in partnership with The Recycling Partnership, announced today the Big Bear City Community Services District will be the next recipient of a grant-funded investment made possible by the beverage industry’s Every Bottle Back initiative.  The $166,000 investment will provide 12,000 households with free, lidded curbside carts that will increase the capacity of recyclables collected, improve recycling rates and help prevent plastic waste from ending up in Big Bear’s scenic environment.

Spearheaded by the American Beverage Association, Every Bottle Back is a groundbreaking initiative by The Coca-Cola Company, Keurig Dr Pepper and PepsiCo to reduce the beverage industry’s plastic footprint by getting back more of the industry’s recyclable plastic bottles to be remade into new bottles, as intended. 

“We’re thrilled to be working with our partners to help Big Bear improve its recycling system to capture more of our recyclable bottles,” said Katherine Lugar, President and CEO of the American Beverage Association.  “This investment will help close the loop on our bottles and create a more circular economy for recycled materials throughout the region.”

This Every Bottle Back investment will also provide educational materials to residents to cut down on contamination in the recycling stream and support improvements to the existing transfer station.  This allows the region to accumulate and efficiently ship recyclables to Burrtec, a materials recovery facility (MRF) in San Bernardino County, helping to create a strong local market for recycled plastics.

“The goal of California’s beverage companies is to build an efficient closed loop recycling system,” said Rick Rivas, Vice President – California at the American Beverage Association.  “Through Every Bottle Back, we’re increasing the amount of bottles collected which allows us to use more recycled content and preserve the environment for generations to come.”

This investment is estimated to yield 33 million new pounds of recyclables over 10 years including 1.3 million pounds of PET used to make beverage bottles. 

On the heels of its West Coast Contamination Initiative, The Recycling Partnership is working with partners like the American Beverage Association to catalyze system improvements by meeting communities where they are – whether it’s preventing recycling facility fires in Chula Vista, delivering curbside recycling carts to Culver City, or increasing convenient access to recycling in Big Bear.

“The Recycling Partnership is excited to work with the American Beverage Association and other partners to expand curbside recycling access to 12,000 households in Big Bear,” said Cody Marshall, Chief of Community Strategy at The Recycling Partnership.  “We are grateful to our partners and the city of Big Bear for their support of this important recycling transformation that will keep valuable recyclables out of our environment and waterways and put them back into the circular economy to provide critical feedstock for local producers.”

“The District is grateful to The Recycling Partnership and its partners for the generous grant to enhance our recycling efforts,” said Solid Waste Superintendent Jon Zamorano.  “By diverting waste from landfills, we not only decrease the workload on our collection crews, who have been stellar throughout the pandemic, but we also lay the foundation to build a more sustainable and cleaner Big Bear City for generations to come.   We’re looking forward to seeing an increase in recyclables because of this grant.”

This investment in Big Bear is the 11th of 15 initial projects that the beverage industry has committed to fund under Every Bottle Back.  These investments total $12.5 million in committed funding and will yield an estimated 693 million more pounds of PET over 10 years.

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