May 2006


Habitat affiliates bump aluminum recycling rates

Arlington, VA— In communities across the country, Habitat for Humanity (HFH) affiliates are recycling aluminum cans to help build homes and their efforts are paying off.

Since 1997, approximately $4.4 million has been earned from 12 million pounds of recycled aluminum cans. This equates to 95 Habitat homes, funded through the national Cans for Habitat program.

Additionally this year, the aluminum industry awarded seven participating HFH affiliates grants totaling $155,000 for their remarkable efforts to eliminate poverty housing through aluminum can recycling programs.

Between January 1 and December 31, 2005, grant winners alone recycled nearly 432,000 pounds of aluminum cans, generating almost $197,500 in revenue for the construction of Habitat homes.

In total, participating Cans for Habitat affiliates recycled 700,000 pounds and generated $380,000 in 2005, bumping their local recycling Habitat rates by 25 percent from the prior year.

New to 2005, the Cans for Habitat grant program recognized returning and rookie affiliates for their ability to grow their aluminum can recycling programs through unique and sustainable marketing and promotional efforts.

The returning affiliate program was designed to reward affiliates that increased aluminum can recycling, earned media coverage, bin placement and marketing efforts from 2004 levels.

The rookie version of the grant program was created to encourage affiliates who have never competed in the Cans for Habitat grant program or have never won a grant. This first-timer applicant program rewarded the top rookie affiliates for their work in aluminum can recycling.

The first place finisher in the returning category, Greater Lynchburg HFH (Lynchburg, Virginia), developed a “Can House” campaign to drive its public interest strategy. The campaign urged residents to help the affiliate collect 3,000,000 cans to cover the cost of building materials for a single habitat home. By the end of 2005, the Can House campaign helped Greater Lynchburg HFH achieve a 100 percent increase in its earned media coverage from 2004, securing placements on the Internet, television, radio, newspapers and magazines.

The top performing affiliate in the rookie category, Mountain Country HFH (Branson, Missouri), leveraged its hometown’s reputation as the “Live Entertainment Capital of the World” to encourage visitors and residents to recycle aluminum cans. The affiliate partnered with businesses to offer patrons complimentary tickets to local events after donating aluminum cans. Partners also supported the campaign by placing recycling receptacles in lobbies, making recycling “pitches” and airing a public service announcement (PSA) during intermissions.

All interested Habitat affiliates are welcome to participate in the 2006 grant program. Since 1998, more than $1.75 million in grant money has been awarded to Habitat affiliates that have sustained successful recycling programs.


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