The Trash Blog

Why Are We Recycling?

Susan Parsons <>
Fri, Dec 27, 2013 at 11:57 AM
Subject: Further Questions for Keep America Beautiful

Hi Ms. Parsons,

Thank you very much for taking the time to get back to us. We are grateful for your concern about our experience of being unable to get a response from Keep America Beautiful. Your concern that our four phone calls in July did not result in a response is appreciated.

As our conversation revealed, we are still very eager to speak with Keep America Beautiful about its activities, vision, and approach to waste issues in America. Since you did not feel comfortable answering some of our questions, we would be grateful if you would please forward the following questions to the appropriate person at Keep America Beautiful.

Knowing that Keep America Beautiful’s mission is “Engaging individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community’s environment,” we are curious why KAB selected recycling as the focus of its current campaign rather than reduction or reuse.

Under the Programs and Initiatives section of your website, the only programs that have a reuse or waste reduction component are the Give and Go Move Out 2013 and Cars to Donate programs. Your 12 other programs are all focused on recycling or litter. While we applaud KAB’s ability to maintain a very focused approach to waste issues, given that the EPA lists source reduction and reuse at a higher level of their waste management hierarchy than recycling and disposal, why doesn’t KAB have more programs aimed to promote waste reduction and reuse in America?

KAB lists the Coca Cola Foundation, The Glad Products Company, Waste  Management, Nestle Waters North America, and many others as major corporate sponsors. Given such committed sponsorship from companies that produce disposable items or that find a revenue source in disposable  items, why does KAB’s mission emphasize individual responsibility and  not corporate responsibility?

Acknowledging the substantial support such corporations bring to KAB,  what efforts does KAB make to provide their corporate sponsors with  alternatives to continuing to produce such massive quantities of  disposable items? It seems that litter control programs and recycling campaigns (both of which are very expensive) would no longer be required if the disposable packaging and disposable products manufactured by corporations such as your sponsors were phased out or manufactured in a manner more considerate of their disposal.

One potential means by which KAB could assist its sponsors is through advocating extended producer responsibility. Does KAB advocate extended producer responsibility?

Once again, we would like to thank you for your concerned response to our four unsuccessful attempts to contact Keep America Beautiful. We are excited to continue this conversation with KAB about positive responses to the waste issues that are most important to the United States.


Philip Corrigan and Margaret Morales

The Trash Blog

This entry was written by Philip and published on January 29, 2014 at 4:09 pm. It’s filed under Advertising, Community, Recycling and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

3 thoughts on “Why Are We Recycling?

  1. Uncle Chris on said:


  2. Eliza Kater on said:

    Everyone will want to keep their country beautiful. The question is how many of them is willing to work for it. Most of the people limit their social concerns and commitment to just talking about it. Only a few of them actually work for it. So your work towards ensuring proper waste management and disposal is really commendable. The effort you people are taking for it is really visible and I sincerely hope that your attempts gain fruits.

  3. Pingback: Easy Come, Easy Recycle, Easy Go | The Trash Blog

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