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Habitat for Humanity affiliates promote aluminum recycling programs to compete for grants

Cans for Habitat affiliates boost local aluminum can recycling by 25 percent in 2005

Americus, Ga. – March 28, 2006 – In communities throughout the country, Habitat for Humanity affiliates are recycling aluminum cans to help build homes as part of the Cans for Habitat program – and their efforts are paying off. Empty aluminum cans are now helping families in need afford simple, decent homes nationwide.

Cans for Habitat began in August of 1997 and is a partnership between The Aluminum Association and Habitat for Humanity International. Through the program, money earned from recycling aluminum cans can be donated to Habitat for Humanity to build homes with families in need.

Since 1997, approximately $4.4 million has been earned from 12-million pounds of recycled aluminum cans. This equates to 95 Habitat homes funded through the national Cans for Habitat program. Additionally this year, the aluminum industry awarded grants totaling $155,000 to seven participating Habitat affiliates for their remarkable efforts to eliminate poverty housing through aluminum can recycling programs.

The 2005 grant winners alone recycled nearly 432,000 pounds of aluminum cans – generating almost $197,500 in revenue for the construction of Habitat homes.

In total, affiliates participating in the Cans for Habitat program recycled 700,000 pounds and generated $380,000 in 2005, bumping affiliates’ local can recycling rates by 25 percent from the prior year. In 2004, Cans for Habitat affiliates recycled 548,129 pounds and generated $229,720.

“Our outstanding Cans for Habitat affiliates continue to raise the bar with their accomplishments each year,” said Patrick Kelly, program director for Cans for Habitat. “Thanks to these amazing affiliates the aluminum industry remains proud to support its partner, Habitat for Humanity, through the Cans for Habitat program.”

New to 2005, the Cans for Habitat grant program recognized rookie and returning affiliates for their ability to grow their aluminum can recycling programs through unique and sustainable marketing and promotional efforts.

The rookie version of the grant program was created to encourage affiliates who have never competed in the Cans for Habitat grant program or have never won a grant. This first-timer applicant program rewarded the top rookie affiliates for their tremendous work in aluminum can recycling.

The returning affiliate program was designed to reward affiliates that increased aluminum can recycling, earned media coverage, bin placement and marketing efforts from 2004 levels.

“Habitat for Humanity and its network of affiliates are dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing,” said Chris Clarke, senior vice president of communications for Habitat for Humanity International. “There are so many ways to help build a Habitat home other than picking up a hammer or raising a wall. Cans for Habitat provides an avenue for any person, at any age, to help build simple, decent homes in partnership with families in need.”

In addition to a significant increase in can collection recognized by the Cans for Habitat program, affiliates also made great strides with publicity efforts.

The first place finisher in the returning category, Greater Lynchburg Habitat (Lynchburg, Va.), developed a “Can House” campaign to drive its media relations strategy. The campaign urged residents to help the affiliate collect 3 million cans to cover the cost of building materials for a single Habitat home. By the end of 2005, the Can House campaign helped Greater Lynchburg Habitat achieve a 100 percent increase in its earned media coverage from 2004, securing placements on the Internet, television, radio, newspapers and magazines.

The top performing affiliate in the rookie category, Mountain Country Habitat (Branson, Mo.), leveraged its hometown’s reputation as the “Live Entertainment Capital of the United States” to encourage visitors and residents to recycle aluminum cans. The affiliate partnered with businesses to offer patrons complimentary tickets to local events after donating aluminum cans. Partners also supported the campaign by placing recycling receptacles in lobbies, making recycling “pitches” and airing a public service announcement (PSA) during intermissions.

2005 grant winners include:

Returning Affiliates


City, State

Grant Awarded

Greater Lynchburg HFH

Lynchburg, Va.


Grand Island Area HFH

Grand Island, Neb.


HFH of Hopkins County

Madisonville, Ky.


San Luis Valley HFH

Alamosa, Colo.


Rookie Affiliates


City, State

Grant Awarded

Mountain Country HFH

Branson, Mo


Garrard County HFH

Lancaster, Ky.


East Pasco HFH

Dade City, Fla.


All interested Habitat affiliates are welcome to participate in the 2006 grant program. Since 1998, more than $1.75 million in grant money has been awarded to Habitat affiliates that have sustained successful recycling programs.

For more information on Cans for Habitat, visit .

About the Aluminum Association
The Aluminum Association is the trade association for producers of primary aluminum, recyclers and companies that produce semi-fabricated aluminum products. The Association also welcomes suppliers to the producer industry. Based in Arlington, Va., with offices in Detroit, Mich., the Association provides leadership to the industry through its programs and services. These aim to enhance aluminum’s position in a world of proliferating materials, increase its use as the “material of choice,” remove impediments to its fullest use and assist in achieving the industry’s environmental, societal, and economic objectives. Member companies operate about 200 plants in the U.S and many conduct business worldwide. .

About Habitat for Humanity International

Habitat for Humanity International, based in Americus, Ga., is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since 1976, Habitat has built more than 200,000 houses in nearly 100 countries, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than one million people. For more information, visit