Keep America Beautiful was recently awarded a $50,000 grant by Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics to establish the Hefty EnergyBag program in our community. The program offers a creative approach to diverting plastics that are not currently recycled – such as chip bags and juice pouches – from landfills and converting the materials into valuable energy resources.
“Keep Cobb Beautiful is excited about this innovative program and is looking forward to bringing plastic recovery options and technology to Cobb County residents,” Kimberly White, KCB executive director, said.
Building on a 10-year partnership through the Great American Cleanup, the largest community improvement program in the U.S., Dow and Keep America Beautiful collaborated to announce the Hefty EnergyBag grant program in July, and sought applications from communities across the U.S. The two winning communities, Cobb County and Boise, Idaho, rated highest on key selection criteria, which included: host city or municipality, materials recovery facility and hauler participation; number of targeted households; availability of existing recycling carts for curbside collection and accessibility of a suitable end market outlet that will turn the plastics collected into an alternative energy resource.
The two winning communities will provide collected materials to facilities utilizing advanced non-combustion conversion technologies which can generate a liquid fuel, such as diesel. These technologies also have the longer-term potential to generate feedstocks in a closed loop system and can be used to produce new plastics, keeping resources in use and at their highest value and thereby helping create a more circular economy.