The project, which advances safer, more efficient, and equitable recycling access for Kansas City’s half a million residents is the culmination of nearly five years of planning and one of the nation’s largest public-private collaborations to advance a community’s recycling program.
The City’s current opt-in recycling system requires residents to purchase or use their own recycling bins, which can be no larger than 32-gallons. With the transition to 65-gallon carts, every household with curbside solid waste service will receive a cart, be able to participate in recycling and fully utilize all 65-gallons for recyclable materials. Additionally, the carts have wheels making them easy to maneuver and are lidded to keep recyclables loose and dry.
“We heard Kansas Citians’ requests loud and clear and Kansas City government is proud to deliver new lidded recycling carts, ensuring we can become a cleaner and more environmentally conscious community, while diverting thousands of pounds of waste away from landfills,” said Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas. “These improved recycling carts are yet another step toward achieving a clean and green city and reaching our goal of climate neutrality citywide by 2040.”
The 65-gallon recycling carts are the result of a $1.5 million public-private collaborative project between the city, The Recycling Partnership, the American Beverage Association, and Dow. Dow donated a portion, 1.2 million pounds, of the plastic resin to produce the recycling carts, The Recycling Partnership provided program technical support, and funding support made possible in part by American Beverage’s Every Bottle Back initiative and the Missouri Beverage Association.
“Public-private partnerships like this are critical for improving city infrastructure, especially in a community as large as Kansas City, MO, and the mixture of grants, investment, and donation of plastic resin is key to making the project possible,” says Cody Marshall, Chief System Optimization Officer at The Partnership. “This is The Recycling Partnership’s largest cart grant project in the Midwest and the second largest cart grant to date. Cart-based collection is a key foundation for any communities’ solid waste program, makes it easier for residents to recycle, often increases the amount of recyclable material collected, and helps to move Kansas City towards a fully carted system.”
“We are thrilled American Beverage has identified Kansas City, MO, for an Every Bottle Back grant to make it convenient for residents to have their recyclable materials picked up at their front doors,” said Sally Hargis, president of Missouri Beverage Association. “Beverage companies are taking a leadership role in improving recycling in our communities. It is a priority of Missouri Beverage Association to ensure our 100% recyclable bottles and cans are remade rather than wasted in landfills or ending up in nature.”
Launched in 2019 by the American Beverage Association, Every Bottle Back is an unprecedented initiative to reduce the beverage industry’s plastic footprint by investing in recycling infrastructure and education to increase the collection of the beverage industry’s plastic bottles, which are carefully designed to be 100% recyclable. Every Bottle Back brings together The Coca-Cola Company, Keurig Dr. Pepper, and PepsiCo with leading environmental and sustainability organizations – World Wildlife Fund, Closed Loop Partners, and The Recycling Partnership – to support the circular plastics economy. A separate Every Bottle Back investment made in collaboration with Closed Loop Partners, American Beverage Association and Missouri Beverage Association brings the total contribution from the beverage industry to Kansas City to $3 million to modernize recycling infrastructure.