Kum & Go Expands Recycling at Pump Program in Des Moines

Published in CSP Daily News

Follows award-winning initiative's expansion in Tulsa, Okla.

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- Kum & Go said that a total of 268-bottle-shaped recycling containers have been installed near fuel pumps at all 42 Kum & Go stores in Greater Des Moines as part of the "At the Pump Recycling" project.

Kum & Go is collaborating on the project with Waste Management of Iowa Inc. and RecycleMe Iowa. Customers were invited to celebrate America Recycles Day on Nov. 15 by placing recyclable beverage containers into the new bins while stopping at Kum & Go stores.

No other convenience store retailer offers recycling at the pump in the Des Moines area, according to Adam Hammes, Kum & Go sustainability manager.

The expansion builds on the success of a pilot program that began at four local Kum & Go stores in April 2012. According to audits managed by Waste Management of Iowa, this pilot diverted more than 86,050 pounds of recyclable materials from the Metro Waste Authority's landfills in the first six months.

"Waste Management applauds Kum & Go for taking the initiative to provide convenient recycling containers for their on-the-go customers," said Mike Tunney, recycling director for Waste Management of Iowa. "Recycling often and recycling right are the easiest things we can do 365 days a year, and this collaboration provides another opportunity to recycle as we travel."

The recycling initiative strategically places recycling containers next to fuel pumps to provide easy and accessible recycling opportunities for customers. The container itself resembles a plastic bottle and was designed to stand out as a recycling receptacle to distinguish itself from a trash container.

"Kum & Go is committed to leading our industry in sustainable practices and being a responsible corporate citizen in the communities that we serve," said Hammes. "Together with Waste Management of Iowa and RecycleMe Iowa, we're proud to provide a simple and effective way to help customers recycle at our stores, and we're thrilled to offer this solution at every Kum & Go convenience store in the Des Moines area."

Kum & Go received a $20,000 grant for the expansion project from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Solid Waste Alternative Program (SWAP). It used this grant to partially fund the recycling containers at the pumps. Kum & Go partnered with RecycleMe Iowa to help deploy and install the new bins.

Kum & Go has received the 2013 Recycling Innovator Award from The Metropolitan Environmental Trust of Tulsa, Okla., for its on-the-go recycling program in partnership with PepsiCo. This program has expanded from a pilot project to all of Tulsa's 47 Kum & Go locations, where a bottle-shaped recycling bin is available near every fuel pump.

Waste Management Inc., Houston, is a leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America.

RecycleMe Iowa is a recycling service for apartment tenants and businesses and also specializes in zero-waste events in the Des Moines metro area.

West Des Moines, Iowa-based Kum & Go has more than 420 convenience stores in 11 states (Iowa, Arkansas, Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming).