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Loyola University New Orleans Wins 2017 Coca-Cola /Keep America Beautiful Public Space Recycling Grant

Loyola press release - March 8, 2018

Howl to the Wolf Pack! Loyola University New Orleans is one of only 50 institutions nationwide to win a 2017 Coca-Cola /Keep America Beautiful Public Space Recycling grant. Selected from among more than 800 applicants, the Jesuit, Catholic university will use grant funds to purchase 30 new recycling bins to be placed in all five residence halls. With the help of weekly pickups and student participation, the 32-gallon bins made possible by the grant from Keep America Beautiful and the Coca-Cola Foundation are expected to help Loyola recycle an additional 45,000 gallons of waste per year.

Loyola’s active Student Government Association wrote and won the $5,040 grant for Loyola, as part of its sustainability initiative titled “Maroon, Gold, and Green.” Named among 2017 “Green Colleges” by the Princeton Review, Loyola University New Orleans serves as a happy sponsor and recipient.

Government agencies, schools, universities and colleges, nonprofits, tribal organizations, and other community organizations from around the nation all vied for the coveted recycling grant. Loyola and the nonprofit Keep West Baton Rouge Beautiful were the only two institutions in Louisiana to be awarded funding. Award criteria included: demonstrated need; likelihood to result in increased recycling of beverage containers and other recyclables; planning and organization, including a well thought out implementation strategy; a well-organized proposal; and reliability of plan to track recyclables collected in an accurate manner.

To help fulfill their grant award, Loyola’s Student Government Association is now planning an event to promote recycling on campus and create awareness of the grant and new bins, which will collect paper, plastic, and aluminum. Strategic communications students working in Loyola’s Shawn M. Donnelley Center for Nonprofit Communication, which celebrated 20 years of helping nonprofits this year — will help with branding and promotion and work to generate student support.

On the agenda are: creating communication tools that let students know how to use the new blue 32-gallon Waste Watcher XL recycling bins for best effect; working with the Environmental Club and other student organizations to “get the word out,” and hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony, replete with food, games, and a photo booth. All promotions will celebrate sustainability of the environment and the sustainability of Loyola.

Excited by the grant, Loyola’s Student Government Association has no plans to slow down its sustainability efforts. The SGA just bought two red solar-paneled tables to be used as outdoor charging stations. They also purchased a large new 80-gallon recycling bin to be placed in the lobby outside Loyola’s state-of-the-art Nunemaker Auditorium, where students, faculty, staff, alumni, and residents frequently enjoy lectures, classes, and concerts.

“Most people are inclined to recycle when presented the opportunity. The key is to remove the two primary barriers that stop them: lack of convenience and confusion over what and how to recycle,” said Abigail Justice, Loyola senior and SGA member. “With this grant, we will ensure easy opportunities to recycle within all residence halls at Loyola and educate the university community about this new program. We want recycling to become a regular and essential part of our campus and community cultures.”