Recycling in Public Spaces

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Recycling In Public Spaces: Made Easier in Oak Park

Residents visiting Oak Park’s David H. Shepherd Park should expect to see cleaner public parks this fall thanks to a significant grant made possible by Dr Pepper Snapple Group (NYSE: DPS) in collaboration with Keep America Beautiful.  

In 2017, the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, in partnership with Keep America Beautiful, awarded Oak Park 20 new recycling bins for distribution in and around Shepherd Park through the Recycling Bin Grant Program. Thanks to this generous grant, Oak Park will be able to expand recycling from the private realm into the public arena. The goal of Keep America Beautiful’s recycling program is to embrace recycling 365 days a year. It also encourages recycling in public spaces while making the bins accessible to residents of Oak Park. This greater focus on sustainability goes hand-in-hand with the City’s residential recycling program’s transition from the smaller bins to the larger, single-stream recycling bins that all residential households will be receiving from SOCRRA later this year.

As part of the Keep America Beautiful Grant, the City has placed bins in Shepherd Park, near existing trash cans, along walking paths, near picnic areas, and close to the basketball, baseball and tennis courts. The blue, brightly colored bins are also located near the entrance of the Community Center, the Oak Park Pool and the Oak Park Ice Arena.

Now in its fifth year, the Park Recycling Bin Grant Program from Dr Pepper Snapple Group and Keep America Beautiful has provided more than 900 new recycling bins in public parks across the country and more than 4,300 recycling bins to local governments and community organizations across 41 states over the program’s history. This investment in recycling infrastructure has improved recycling accessibility and convenience in a variety of park settings, including neighborhood and larger regional parks, beaches, athletic fields and walking trails. 

“The timing of this grant couldn’t be more ideal as the City embarks on an awareness campaign to increase recycling efforts within the City,” said City Manager Erik Tungate. “Having the ability to promote recycling in public spaces compliments our efforts with our current initiatives to promote recycling at home. Not only will the public have the opportunity to recycle when out and about enjoying our parks, paths and facilities, but it begins at home with a curbside initiative where disposing of recyclables is now as easy as taking out the trash.” 

“The rewards and benefits of recycling are driven home when we realize that on average every person disposes of 1,600 pounds of trash a year. That means, in Oak Park with a population of 29,300 we are generating significant waste of which it is estimated that 70 percent can be recycled,” said Economic Development and Communications Director Kimberly Marrone who spearheads the Dr Pepper Keep America Beautiful in public spaces campaign. “The benefits to the environment, to our health, to our natural resources, in our landfills and for future generations to come cannot be understated.” 

“We are very pleased with the momentum that continues to build through our on-going work with Keep America Beautiful,” said Vicki Draughn, Vice President of Corporate Affairs for Dr Pepper Snapple Group. “As communities continue to improve their infrastructure to support recycling at home and at work, this program helps address a persistent challenge, which is improving recycling opportunities for people on-the-go.”

A recent national survey conducted by Keep America Beautiful revealed a lack of opportunity for the public to recycle on-the-go. While more than 90 percent of people indicated it was not a challenge to recycle at home, over 55 percent found it difficult to recycle in public places, such as parks. Additional research conducted by Keep America Beautiful indicates only 12 percent of those surveyed report having access to public locations to recover containers. The Dr Pepper Snapple Group/Keep America Beautiful Park Recycling Bin Grant Program is designed to address the obstacles of overcoming accessibility and convenience.

“Too many public parks and other public spaces lack recycling bins that are within reach,” said Brenda Pulley, Senior Vice President of Recycling, Keep

America Beautiful. “Our partnership with Dr Pepper Snapple Group has placed bins in hundreds of parks across the U.S., in the process giving nearly 1 million people convenient access to new recycling opportunities.”

For a complete list of grant recipients, go to the Park Recycling Bin Grant Program website here. 

About Keep America Beautiful - A leading national nonprofit, Keep America Beautiful inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. Established in 1953, Keep America Beautiful provides the expertise, programs and resources to help people end littering, improve recycling, and beautify America’s communities. The organization is driven by the work and passion of more than 600 community-based Keep America Beautiful affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the support of corporate partners, municipalities, elected officials, and individuals. 

About Dr Pepper Snapple Group - Dr Pepper Snapple Group (NYSE: DPS) is a leading producer of flavored beverages in North America and the Caribbean. Our success is fueled by more than 50 brands that are synonymous with refreshment, fun and flavor. We have six of the top 10 non-cola soft drinks, and 13 of our 14 leading brands are No. 1 or No. 2 in their flavor categories. 


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City Council Hosts Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony During Council Meeting for Recycling in the Park Initiative

Monday, June 19, 7 p.m. - City Manager Erik Tungate joined Mayor Marian McClellan, Mayor Pro Tem Carolyn Burns and City Council Member Ken Rich to formally launch the Recycling in the Park Initiative during a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony. Video of the City Council meeting is available at https://youtu.be/DgZbczIim9E.


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Recycling in Public Spaces Featured in Concert in the Park Series

Concerts in the Park is a cherished summer event in Oak Park on Thursday evenings during the month of July. This year's concert line-up included Persuasion, Root Doctor, Bobby Murray Band, and Kimmie Horne. During the concerts, concert-goers were surrounded by the cute little blue SNAPPLE/DR PEPPER Recycling in the Public Space Bins. Oak Park Mayor Marian McClellan would emcee the event and before introducing the band took a moment to announce the City's initiative to encourage everyone to not only recycle at home, but in public spaces. She promised everyone that if they would use the bins that day, they may just become famous (be featured in the concert video series or pictures on social media).  The City of Oak Park videotaped the concerts and included coverage of the Recycling in Public Space campaign mentions. These videos can be viewd on the City's YouTube channel (@CityOfOakPark) and were also featured on the City's government cable channel OPTV15 and on several television screens throughout the City.

To watch the videos, visit

Persuasion, July 6, 2017 at 7 p.m., visit https://youtu.be/2uBB38vCQac
Root Doctor, July 13, 2017 at 7 p.m., visit https://youtu.be/AcEwOo2BL8o
Bobby Murray Band, July 20, 2017 at 7 p.m., visit https://youtu.be/QYQkRqsZAOk 
Kimmie Horne, July 27, 2017, 7 p.m., visit https://youtu.be/Mr1FzPaOGAg