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Can-Do Cities

Can-Do Cities

Six winning municipalities were recently recognized as part of the 2012 Cans for Cash City Recycling Challenge. Aluminum recycler Novelis and the U.S. Conference of Mayors unveiled the winners at the latter organization's 80th annual meeting, held this month in Orlando, Fla. Combined, this year's participating cities collected 114,284,354 aluminum beverage cans during the challenge period. The amount of energy saved by recycling these cans could supply enough energy to power 10,884 U.S. homes for an entire day, said the challenge’s organizers in a press release.

Grants were made in two categories: "Most Cans Collected" and "Most Innovative Ideas." First place winners in each category were awarded $25,000 grants and second and third place winners were awarded $15,000 and $5,000 grants, respectively.

The Most Cans Collected prize recognizes the cities that collect the most aluminum beverage cans per capita during the challenge period (any consecutive 28 days between March 1st and April 30th, 2012). In this category the winners were:

First Place ($25,000 grant): Milwaukee, Wis.

Mayor Tom Barrett

City Population: 594,833

Number of Cans Collected: 39,393,259

Cans Collected per capita: 66.2


Second Place ($15,000 grant): Richmond, Ind.

Mayor Sally Hutton

City Population: 36,812

Number of Cans Collected: 2,258,852

Cans Collected per capita: 61.4


Third Place ($5,000 grant): University City, Mo.

Mayor Shelley Welsch

City Population: 35,371

Number of Cans Collected: 1,627,438

Cans Collected per capita: 46.0


The Most Innovative Ideas prize rewards the cities that employ the most creative strategies to promote aluminum beverage can recycling. Winners in this category were:


First Place ($25,000 grant): Pembroke Pines, Fla.

Mayor Frank Ortis


Second Place ($15,000 grant): Newport News, Va.

Mayor Mckinley Price


Third Place ($5,000 grant): Irvine, Calif.

Mayor Sukhee Kang


“As the global leader in aluminum beverage can recycling, Novelis is proud to be the founding sponsor of the Cans for Cash City Recycling Challenge,” said Tom Walpole, senior vice president of Novelis and president, Novelis North America, in the press release. “The Challenge provides municipalities with a platform to engage their citizens in a conversation about the importance of recycling and to help build greener, more sustainable communities.”

The Cans for Cash City Recycling Challenge has collected and recycled more than 902 million aluminum cans since the challenge started back in 2004.

“Recycling aluminum beverage cans makes sense both financially and environmentally,” said Tom Cochran, CEO and executive director of the United States Conference of Mayors. “America's Mayors are proud to take a national leadership role in promoting environmental sustainability though the Cans for Cash City Recycling Challenge – and through encouraging aluminum beverage can recycling we can encourage revenue generation and job creation as well.”

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