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‘The Great Recycle’ Debuts in Times Square

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NEW YORK, New York, April 25, 2012 (ENS) – In support of New York City’s pledge to double recycle efforts by 2017, a national crowd-source recycling initiative, The Great Recycle, will open in Times Square on Monday, April 30.

The campaign’s first goal is to recycle more than 45,000 plastic, glass and aluminum beverage containers in 10 hours. A recycling bin in Times Square as tall as a three-story building will receive the containers.

The initiative is the brainchild of Honest Tea, an organic bottled tea company purchased by Coca-Cola last year. Honest Tea will kick off the Great Recycle by attempting to recycle the same number of bottles the company sells in New York City on a single day.

“National recycling rates are nowhere near where they need to be,” says Honest Tea co-founder and “TeaEO” Seth Goldman. “Honest Tea is committed to finding ways to help Americans recycle more. We’ve helped install recycling bins in our hometown of Bethesda, Maryland and now it’s time to expand our efforts.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that Americans recycle just 27 percent of plastic bottles and about 33 percent of glass bottles.

At the event in Times Square, bottles will act as currency. People who bring bottles down to The Great Recycle bin will be awarded points for each bottle recycled. The points can be redeemed at the onsite TRASHed Recycling Store run by Global Inheritance for rewards such as cold bottles of Honest Tea, t-shirts and reusable bags, jeans, video games, and tickets to sporting events, concerts and Broadway shows.

The plastic bottles collected will be recycled into gardening supplies such as shovels, watering cans and plastic lumber, which will be used to build and cultivate an urban garden for PS 102, an elementary school in Harlem.

Partnering with Honest Tea for The Great Recyle are: GrowNYC, Recyclebank, Global Inheritance, Five-Boro Green Services and Coca-Cola Live Positively.

“New York City is a world leader in many areas and is committed to actions that secure a sustainable and livable future for all residents,” said David Hurd, the director of Office of Recycling Outreach & Education for the nonprofit GrowNYC.

“The goal to double the waste diversion rate includes initiatives like expanding access to recycling in public spaces, and other initiatives that will make it even easier to do the right thing. This is just one component of the Mayor’s efforts to make New York City one of the greenest, most livable cities,” Hurd said. “Recycling beverage containers is a simple everyday way to combat climate change and reduce the cost of exporting our waste to other states.”

Those who cannot attend the event in Times Square can participate in “The Great Recycle” by logging onto www.TheGreatRecycle.com and making a recycling pledge and then solidifying it by recycling an old Facebook post.

By taking the pledge, users will be rewarded with Recyclebank points which can be redeemed for discounts and deals from more than 3,000 local and national businesses in categories ranging from food and beverage to health and beauty, restaurants, entertainment, sports and recreation, apparel, automotive, electronics and more.

As part of this campaign, Honest Tea has produced a 60-second video that follows one bottle from purchase through discard to recycling. See it on Honesttea.com and at Thegreatrecycle.com.

To publicize the campaign, Honest Tea is using Facebook ads and a new Twitter tag called #GreatRecycle, which will appear on the side of the giant bin and on recycled paper fliers that will be handed out across New York.

In the coming months, the Great Recycle will appear in other cities across the United States.

This is not Honest Tea’s first recycling effort. The company partnered with TerraCycle in 2007 to create the Drink Pouch Brigade, a program that recycles drink pouches and upcycles them into pencil cases, book bags, and notebooks.

Since 2007, nearly one million Honest Kids pouches have been diverted from landfills. The Drink Pouch Brigades now divert more drink pouches from the waste stream than Honest Tea produces each year.

In 2008, Honest Tea partnered with Bethesda Green and The Coca-Cola Company to install 33 recycling bins throughout downtown Bethesda. Within the first year the bins collected more than 4,000 pounds of recyclable beverage containers.

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2012. All rights reserved.

Cover Photo: The Great Recycle bin is staged in a New York warehouse, April 20, 2012 (Image from video by Honest Tea)