Despite Covid-19: 2020 America Recycles Day Was Huge Success!
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, our 2020 America Recycles Day Was a Huge Success! By Blanca Tavera:
Contributing to American prosperity and protecting our environment, America Recycles Day (ARD) is the only nationally recognized day promoting recycling and focusing on typically recycling behavior. Coordinated by the US nonprofit organization, Keep America Beautiful, ARD is an event that recognizes the importance and impact recycling has on our health, economy, and communities. Since 2012, Global Paint for Charity has partnered up with Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful (GC&B) and Gwinnett County Solid Waste Management as they are hosting America Recycles Day event in Gwinnett County. Over the past 10+ years, Gwinnett has seen exponential growth in participation from its residents, increasing from 500 attendees to well over 3,500.
Image by Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful
The year 2020 was a trying year for everyone. The outbreak of the Covid-19 virus forced us to change and alter our lifestyles to ensure our safety and the safety of others. Despite our continued combat against the pandemic, Global Paint continues to work with other organizations like Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful to provide the local residents with the opportunity to come out and do something good for their community. According to GC&B’s Executive Director, Schelly Marlatt, Gwinnett County’s 2020 ARD event was huge. The organization saw no negative impact on the event’s turn-out rate due to Covid-19. In fact, Schelly stated that “people seemed very gracious that we (Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful) can work with such an international NGO like Global Paint for Charity to provide this event despite Covid.” Of course, several precautions were put in place to keep the county’s residents safe and the event’s vendors and their staff. Regardless of these precautions, however, ARD still saw over 1,500 cars on November 14, 2020, which was right on target.
For America Recycles Day and Earth Day, Gwinnett County Solid Waste teamed up with several vendors to safely dispose of these items that are commonly difficult to get rid of. Some of the products that attendees are encouraged to recycle consist of paper, tires, ink cartridges, electronics, and paints. During this last year’s event, Gwinnett residents donated 256 buckets, 3,567 cans, 624 quarts, and 89 spray cans of paint to Global Paint for Charity. A total of 4,763 gallons were collected and will be provided and exported to various underserved communities around the world.
Global Paint for Charity is the world’s most trusted and largest sustainable paint waste management organization and the top supplier and exporter of Latex paint to underserved communities worldwide. Our mission is to recover Latex paint from businesses and residents to change individuals’ lives – one gallon at a time. We strongly believe that colors are an essential component of art, culture, happiness, and success. They can influence our moods and emotions while stimulating different responses and behaviors (Kurt & Osueke, 2014).
Schelly informed noted that the overall goal of America Recycles Day is to give people a service that is hard to come by, to be a resource and a problem solver, and to give old things a new life. Our partnership with Gwinnett County Solid Waste Division and Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful has allowed our organization to reduce paint waste in Gwinnett County by 12-20% every year. It is imperative to understand the consequences paint can have on us and the planet if not disposed of correctly. According to the Bureau of Reclamation, 1 gallon of paint has the capability to pollute 250,000 gallons of water. That is equivalent to the pollution of over 1.8 million water bottles.
Due to Global Paint for Charity (GPC), today, over 370,000 tons of discarded paints have been removed from the waste stream, recycled, reprocessed, and then donated to 40 major U.S. cities and 44 countries in West Africa, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and targeted areas in the Middle East. The goal of GPC is to use color to help beautify urban slums, boost people’s confidence, bring hope and happiness, and assist vulnerable individuals in reaching their full potential. A picture is worth a thousand words. As demonstrated here, GPC continues to visibly improve the lives of so many by bringing a brighter, cleaner solution to the human condition…one gallon of paint at a time.
The innovative approach of GPC’s program design lies in its simplicity. Connecting existing resources will always be more effective than working to create new resources. Thus, GPC’s work is win-win-win. The donors win by finding an easy solution to dispose of their unused paint; the paint recipients receive a resource they could not otherwise afford, and the environment wins through reduced pollution. Demand for services stays consistently high, and GPC often has a waiting list of requests from around the globe. Board members and staff review each application and determine which applicants are in most need and are most likely to complete their projects. The chosen applicants then share reports, photos, and stories about how the paint helped their communities. Community members often participate in large masses to paint their community buildings and help elderly seniors living on limited income keep their house beautiful.
Recycling paint does not only benefit the environment. However, it also allows communities to reduce the landfill and utilize their energy and resources to produce other goods. It enables billions of families who do not have access to colors the opportunity to beautify their homes, schools, communities, towns, and cities. Global Paint also supports local artists and muralists, especially those who struggle financially and can’t afford paint supplies to support their projects. Over the years, artists and muralists have been demoralized and restricted from pursuing their passion and talent. Global Paint aims at supporting and empowering them with good quality products of donation from Sherwin-Williams, PPG, Benjamin Moore, Valspar. Everybody wins.
Paint Recipients in Central America
At Global Paint for Charity, we want the people to thrive in a colorful world that promotes healthy and sustainable communities. We encourage you to connect and get involved. GPC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, so any monetary contributions and donations you make are tax-deductible. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, or visit our website at www.globalpaints.org to stay up to date on what is next for Global Paint.