Brewer Heineken USA has joined The Recycling Partnership, a national nonprofit committed to improving curbside residential recycling, effective immediately.
Heineken is the first alcohol company to join the partnership and, as a major user of glass, a proponent of improving glass recycling rates within the United States.
“We want to have all the commodities at the table represented,” says Jeff Meyers, development director for the Recycling Partnership. “What this will mean for us it that we will do even more of the work of addressing some of the challenges around glass.”
Bringing Heineken in as a member also gives the partnership more resources to reach out to more communities, Meyers says. “This just reinforces our model that more and more companies see value in what we’re doing and want to be part of a group that’s making an impact.”
Lianne Visser, corporate social responsibility manager with Heineken, says that recycling is a key point of emphasis among the firm’s overall sustainability strategy. Heineken’s Brewing a Better World program has a global focus on promoting sustainability. It focuses on issues including CO2 emissions reduction, community partnerships and sustainable sourcing.
“We wanted to do something on recycling in the U.S.,” Visser says. “We are experts in brewing, but not the experts in recycling. I think the strength of the Recycling Partnership is the simplicity.”
Visser adds that the partnership’s transparency and method of using monthly scorecards to report how many households have been reached and how much tonnage recovered was part of what attracted Heineken to the group.
In terms of glass, “in other parts of world it’s one of biggest materials recycled,” Visser says. “If people know better what to put in each bin, that’s key for higher recycling rates for glass.”
The Recycling Partnership’s work has reached 71 communities, which represent over 1.2 million households. It is actively helping boost diversion rates in select communities across the country. The group, formerly called the Curbside Value Partnership up until April, intends to broaden its reach in the coming months and years.
Meyers adds that the partnership has a “solid pipeline” of other partners in the works and hopes to announce other new members before the end of the year.