Local company’s candy wrapper recycling program grows

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – More than 2,000 groups nationwide are benefiting from a program produced by Lexington-based Rubicon. Its annual Trick or Trash campaign is designed to help reduce the trash that builds up around Halloween each year.

Rubicon provides safe and easy to assemble recycling boxes to schools, universities, small businesses and individuals, which can be filled with discarded candy wrappers. Trick or Trash attendees drop their packaging into custom collection boxes and, when full, simply return the boxes for processing using a prepaid shipping label for carbon neutral shipping. The processing of candy wrappers is handled by the innovative recycling company g2 revolution.

Rubicon has more than 2,000 registrants this year. They estimate they will divert more than 13,000 pounds of candy wrappers from landfills and waterways.

There are several attendees from Kentucky, including the Central Christian Child Care Center, Christ the King School and Hotel 21c in Lexington, and Center College in Danville.

It is estimated that 600 million pounds of candy are consumed annually in the United States during the Halloween season, and research from the National Retail Federation shows that in 2020, $ 2.4 billion was spent on candy during the holidays. The materials used to wrap candy are notoriously difficult to recycle, with the vast majority ending up in landfills, as well as in America’s waterways and oceans. To meet this challenge, Rubicon is enlisting the help of teachers and small businesses across the country to collect candy wrappers and inspire communities to recycle.

This year’s program also includes two new corporate partners, whose presence will allow the campaign to reach more communities and individuals than ever before. Cox Communications, a leading cable TV and telecommunications provider and long-time Rubicon partner, has joined Trick or Trash as official media sponsor. The company is committed to placing hundreds of Trick or Trash boxes in Boys and Girls clubs in their communities.

“As a global leader in sustainability, our goal is not only to reduce our impact on the environment, but to encourage others to do the same,” said Ira Pearl, vice president of environmental sustainability. for Cox Enterprises, the parent company of Cox Communications. “The Trick or Trash program is another opportunity to educate and empower young people to reduce waste, embrace recycling and contribute to a more sustainable community.”

The Arby Foundation, the independent charitable arm of Arby’s, has become the official charity partner of Trick or Trash, building on its long-standing commitment to helping young people improve their lives through a range of programs, including fighting hunger. among children, improve academic performance and support national and local volunteer programs. Given its community orientation, Trick or Trash complements the Foundation’s other initiatives.

“At Arby’s, we are committed to helping children dream big and those dreams begin with the opportunity to experience and learn new things. That’s why we’re excited to join Trick or Trash 2021, ”said Emily Crawford of the Arby Foundation. “Rubicon’s innovative program not only reduces waste and protects our environment, but also educates children about the importance of recycling and creating a more sustainable world. It was the perfect opportunity to bring our mission and values ​​together in a fun and engaging campaign. “

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) returns as the official educational partner of Trick or Trash. The essential educational component of the campaign, which emphasizes the role of recycling in the circular economy, also expanded in 2021 to include, in addition to K-12 lesson plans and other content from years previous publications, a reading list for university and students and a useful information sheet for participating companies. NWF hopes to introduce campus sustainability teams to the Trick or Trash program as part of its Campus Race to Zero Waste initiative, a nationwide recycling competition that Rubicon also supports.

“Educating and inspiring the next generation of environmental and wildlife champions is at the heart of our work and mission at the National Wildlife Federation. We are proud to return as a Rubicon partner to the Trick or Trash campaign to show millions of Americans how small steps, like waste reduction and recycling, can help reclaim wildlife populations and to restore natural resources, ”said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “By bringing together students, teachers and business owners to reduce waste from the contamination of our lands and waters, we will both ensure healthier communities for people and preserve habitat for wildlife. in danger. “

This year’s campaign marks the third year of Trick or Trash and follows its huge success in 2020. When the campaign first launched in 2019, it reached over 470 schools in 49 states and diverted approximately 4,000 pounds of packaging and landfill packaging.

The 2020 campaign not only reached more people than the year before, reaching more than 730 schools and small businesses in all 50 U.S. states, it also improved the number of candy wrappers and other wrappers diverted from landfills and oceans. , rising to around 7,000 pounds. This year, participants will each receive a recycling certificate, confirming the exact weight of material diverted from landfills and allowing them to share the positive impact of their collection efforts with their community.

“Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, and it’s always a pleasure to celebrate the launch of Rubicon’s annual Trick or Trash campaign,” said Michael Allegretti, director of strategy at Rubicon. “We are delighted to welcome top companies like Cox and Arby’s, as well as to see established partners like NWF return for another year. We can’t wait to make Halloween sweeter and more sustainable again in 2021! “

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Gladys T. Hensley