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Every Bottle Back initiative invests in Big Bear City, California

The American Beverage Association, The Recycling Partnership have invested $166,000 to improve curbside recycling in the city.

The Washington-based American Beverage Association, along with Falls Church, Virginia-based The Recycling Partnership, have invested $166,000 in the Big Bear City Community Services District, Big Bear City, California, to provide 12,000 households with free, lidded curbside recycling carts. The investment is part of the Every Bottle Back initiative, which aims to reduce the beverage industry’s plastic footprint by recycling more plastic bottles.

“We’re thrilled to be working with our partners to help Big Bear City improve its recycling system to capture more of our recyclable bottles,” says 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.”

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

The American Beverage Association reports that this investment is estimated to yield 33 million new pounds of recyclables over 10 years, including 1.3 million pounds of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) used to make beverage bottles. 

“The district is grateful to The Recycling Partnership and its partners for the generous grant to enhance our recycling efforts,” says Big Bear City Community Services District 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.”

The investment in Big Bear City is the 11th of 15 initial projects that the American Beverage Association has committed to fund under Every Bottle Back. The association says these investments total $12.5 million in committed funding and will yield an estimated 693 million more pounds of PET over 10 years.