No matter where you are in Australia, in our capital cities or our regional centres, by the beach or in the bush, Australian’s have embraced recycling more than most. But it wasn’t always that way.

Keep Australia Beautiful played a large part in helping turn Australia into a nation of recyclers, and the Coca-Cola Foundation has been with them for many years.

The simple act of recycling not only decreases the amount of rubbish entering landfill but also saves money and energy.

In partnership with the Foundation, the Keep Australia Beautiful Beverage Container Recycling Grants encourage everyone to play a part in keeping their patch of Australia tidy. Over the seven-year partnership, $1.6 million has been distributed in support of community recycling projects throughout Australia.

Keep Australia Beautiful has devoted almost 50 years to changing littering behaviour and national chief executive Philip Robinson says all Australians can help improve their communities through litter reduction.

“Litter is a major environmental and social problem and we all have a part to play in protecting the beauty of our beaches, parks, and communities,” said Mr Robinson.

The grants

Designed to encourage anyone who’s got a great idea to help their community become more sustainable – whether it’s infrastructure for events or for special venues such as large retail centres, sporting venues or education centres, or assistance with waste transport or processing – the grant recipients showcase some of Australia’s most creative approaches to recycling, year after year.

Groups or organisations were able to apply for up to $20,000 to improve recycling infrastructure, education and awareness within their community. 

This year more than $440,000 in grant funds will be distributed, with the winning applicants to be notified by 1st August. 

To date, the grants have funded over 360 projects, helping transform more than 125 communities across Australia into more sustainable places to live. The grants are also an avenue to recycling education, engaging the community through local councils, businesses and schools in the process. 

Keep Australia Beautiful

Toddy “the recycling sheep”, who resides in Merredin in Western Australia is just one of the many innovative waste management projects created as a result of the Keep Australia Beautiful Beverage Container Recycling Grants.

Success Stories

The local council of the Shire of Merredin in Western Australia has turned waste management into a fun, creative and engaging community process. Toddy “the recycling sheep” is a larger-than-life mesh statue with openings on either side to allow people to deposit material for recycling.

Toddy stands at a litter hotspot in the centre of Apex Park, Merredin, encouraging the community to load him up with recyclable materials. These are then collected and sent to a recycling facility for sorting and processing.

Educational signage near Toddy’s post provides fun facts about the recycling milestones the community has achieved through its engagement with the waste-management process.

The community liaison officer for the Shire of Merredin, Marilyn Sayers, said the local council hopes this kind of innovative and creative thinking will influence change in the community mindset towards waste management.

“Toddy has been a talking point in Merredin, engaging kids and their parents in understanding their individual impact on the environment. Everyone plays a part in keeping our beautiful patch of Western Australia litter free,” said Ms Sayers.

“Toddy has become a fun and colourful way to encourage the local community to do the right thing by disposing of their rubbish in the correct way.”

Discover more of the 2015 Keep Australia Beautiful grant recipients here – http://www.coca-colajourney.com.au/stories/clever-communities-talking-bins-talk-up-recycling