Beverage Industry Announces Grant to Help Modernize Rockford's Recycling Collection System Through Every Bottle Back Initiative

Posted Feb. 20, 2024

Grant from America’s leading beverage companies will fund citywide upgrade from 32-gallon bins to 64-gallon recycling carts.

ROCKFORD, Ill. – American Beverage today announced a $225,000 grant will be awarded to Rockford to help modernize the community’s curbside recycling program through a grant from The Recycling Partnership as part of the Every Bottle Back Initiative. The grant will support upgrades from 32-gallon recycling bins to universally provided 64-gallon recycling carts, allowing for more recyclable materials to be captured and remade. The investment will also support a robust recycling education program as part of a $6 million investment to modernize Rockford’s collection system.

“American Beverage is excited to be a part of Rockford’s efforts to revolutionize the city’s recycling infrastructure,” said Kevin Keane, president and chief executive officer of American Beverage. “America’s beverage companies are making a difference in community recycling programs across the country by making them more efficient and more effective. We want Every Bottle Back and are eager to see the impact this investment will bring to Rockford and its residents.”

“This partnership will help support Rockford’s efforts to overhaul its recycling system and expand recycling access for nearly 150,000 residents,” said Maddy Norris, executive director of the Illinois Beverage Association. “We are making our environment here in Illinois more sustainable, and this project will help us do just that by yielding millions of new pounds of recyclable materials, including the beverage industry’s valuable 100% recyclable bottles and cans.”

“The Recycling Partnership is pleased to work with the City of Rockford to advance the local recycling program for residents,” said Cody Marshall, chief system optimization officer at The Recycling Partnership. “This project is a great example of the impact public and private partnerships are having on residential recycling so that more materials are able to be captured and turned into new materials." 

This project aims to improve the city’s recycling collection system and boost its recycling rates by providing larger, standardized recycling carts along with a residential outreach and recycling education program. 

Over the next decade, it is projected this investment will result in the collection of an additional 46 million pounds of recyclable materials, including more than 600,000 pounds of aluminum and nearly two million pounds of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET). 

This investment in Rockford is part of 53 initial projects that the leading members of the beverage industry – The Coca-Cola Company, Keurig Dr Pepper and PepsiCo – and its sustainability partners, including The Recycling Partnership, have committed to fund through the Every Bottle Back initiative. This is the fourth Every Bottle Back investment in Illinois with previous investments including Villa Park, LaSalle and Chicago. Investments from the beverage industry nationally total more than $31 million in committed funding and are estimated to yield nearly 900 million new pounds of recycled PET and more than 77 million more pounds of recycled aluminum over the next decade.