This program provides recycling bins to rural schools and communities that do not already have a recycling system in place. Additionally, it educates the community on what is recyclable, where it goes after it leaves, and inspires a new generation to participate in responsible and sustainable waste practices.
Our most recent bin grant cycle has closed, but stay tuned for more information about our next round of bin giveaways. And if you’re a business or individual who is interested in supporting this program, please contact the STAR office at [email protected] This program only exists with the help of generous donors who are able to give monetary and in-kind donations. We appreciate your support.
History: Our first guinea pig for this program was the City of Snyder, a rural town with a population of 11,000 in west Texas. STAR was able to give 364 recycling bins to the city’s elementary and high schools to establish and expand their recycling program. This in turn allowed them to eliminate one garbage dumpster, saving them at least $700 a month in disposal costs, enough to hire a new part-time teacher!
After the success at Snyder, we expanded the bin grant program with a little help from the Austin Materials Marketplace. The marketplace is a new program that brings together businesses of all sizes and entrepreneurs in the City of Austin and Travis County to create closed-loop systems in which one company’s waste is another company’s raw material.
In May of 2015, STAR staff piled into a U-Haul truck and traveled across Austin to 3M, where more than 700 shiny green recycling bins were waiting for us. After purchasing new recycling bins for their office building, 3M was left with these 700 used (but in perfectly good condition) recycling bins that otherwise would have been sent directly to the landfill.
That’s where the Austin Materials Marketplace comes in.
Here’s how it works – 3M realized that they had a perfectly good product that they didn’t need anymore, so they put the recycling bins up on the marketplace. We spotted those recycling bins on the marketplace and immediately said that we would take them. So we rented a truck, drove over to 3M, picked up the bins, and brought them back to our office. We then started accepting applications to the 2015 STAR Bin Grants and gave away 700 recycling bins to deserving schools across Texas.
With such tangible success it is hard not to love this program and we look forward to spreading the joy of recycling with many more cities throughout the state!