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Habitat for Humanity affiliates awarded $100,000 in grants for aluminum recycling

AMERICUS, Ga. (March 21, 2007)—Six high-performing Habitat affiliates have been honored for their aluminum recycling programs geared to raise money for home construction through Cans for Habitat. Currently more than 1,000 affiliates have joined the Cans for Habitat program, using aluminum can recycling to help their mission to eliminate substandard housing. In 2006, Cans for Habitat affiliates recycled almost 500,000 pounds, generating about $400,000 in revenue for the construction of Habitat homes.

Recognizing the top participating affiliates and their recycling efforts in 2006, the aluminum industry awarded $100,000 in grants to six outstanding affiliates who grew their aluminum can recycling programs through unique and sustainable marketing and promotional efforts.

“Our Cans for Habitat affiliates never cease to amaze us with their continued dedication and truly astounding accomplishments,” said Patrick Kelly, program director for Cans for Habitat. “The aluminum industry is proud to be a part of such a successful program that truly helps to turn ‘cans into keys’ for those who are less fortunate than ourselves. Without amazing Habitat volunteers, many who deserve these homes would not have been able to receive them.”

For judging purposes, affiliates were categorized into returning affiliates and first-year affiliates, and were critiqued primarily in two areas: total pounds recycled and publicity efforts to promote their local recycling programs. These publicity efforts included media coverage, partnerships, marketing efforts and communication activities surrounding their recycling programs.

The first-place winner for the returning affiliate category, Habitat for Humanity of Yuma (Ariz.), recycled an astounding 91,000 pounds of aluminum. The Habitat affiliate in Yuma forged a new partner in 2006, Arizona Western College, to gain student support for their recycling program. Students in the environmental science department produced recycling campaign plans for the Cans for Habitat program. Students established new bin placements throughout the campus and developed news articles and public service announcements to educate the community about recycling, focusing both on the environmental benefits as well as the benefit to Habitat. In addition, a large push was made by the college surrounding America Recycles Day on Nov. 14. That effort alone resulted in an estimated 244,800 cans collected and recycled.

Hopkinsville/Christian Habitat for Humanity of Hopkinsville, Ky., was the first-place winner for the rookie affiliate category. Hopkinsville/Christian recycled the most pounds and also developed some valuable partnerships, including a partnership with their area Wal-Mart Distribution Center. Not only did Wal-Mart place bins throughout its store, but the retailer also agreed to donate all expired six-packs of Coca-Cola to the affiliate for recycling.

The full list of the 2006 grant winners includes:

Returning affiliates

Yuma HFH Yuma, Ariz. $25,000
Grand Island Area HFH Grand Island, Neb. $15,000
Webster HFH Springhill, La. $10,000

Rookie affiliates

Hopkinsville/Christian HFH Hopkinsville, Ky. $25,000
Franklin County HFH Villa Ridge, Mo. $15,000
HFH of Austin County Bellville, Texas $10,000

Since 1997, the Cans for Habitat program has recycled approximately 17 million pounds of aluminum cans with an estimated net value of $6.3 million. The aluminum industry has provided support services and program materials to more than 1,000 participating affiliates nationwide. This includes recycling bins and banners; marketing materials, such as magnets and bumper stickers; and public relations assistance, such as event planning and strategic counsel. For more information on Cans for Habitat, visit www.cansforhabitat.org.

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 United States and many conduct business worldwide. For more information, visit www.aluminum.org.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in Americus, Ga., in 1976, Habitat has built more than 200,000 houses in nearly 100 countries, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1 million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org.