A news conference on Wednesday morning will kick off an expanded recycling initiative called "River Market Goes Green."
The fun continues into the evening when River Market partners offer some special promotions.
The "River Market Goes Green" initiative is an expansion of the District's existing cardboard recycling program to accommodate both cardboard and glass through the new single stream recycling offered by Waste Management in partnership with the City of Little Rock, Keep Little Rock Beautiful, the River Market and Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Ripple Glass Recycling.
Several District restaurants have signed on to participate in this program and have had their staffs in training in the past week. Participating restaurants include Big Whiskey's, WT Bubba's, the Flying Fish, Flying Saucer, Rumba, Stickyz, Gusano's Chicago-Style Pizzeria, and late night hot spot, Ernie Biggs. As part of the kick-off event on June 13, each participating partner will have special events at their locations to publicize the effort and raise public awareness about recycling in the River Market.
Currently, there are three cardboard recycling locations in the River Market District in areas convenient to various restaurants. As part of this new initiative, those locations will accept glass and cardboard beginning Wednesday; and an additional single stream recycling location will be added to the River Market at Ottenheimer Hall, just northwest of the Pavilions in July.
Tim Heiple, of Keep Little Rock Beautiful and the River Market Neighborhood Association said of this initiative that, "The last study performed three years ago by Keep Little Rock Beautiful determined that approximately 60% of waste going in the dumpsters in the District was recyclable with the majority of that being cardboard and glass; particularly as it relates to District restaurants. We have been eagerly awaiting Waste Management's conversion to single stream recycling and now that they have achieved this goal, we are able to put this program together in an effort to further reduce waste and increase our recycling efforts in the District. We could not carry out this program without partnership from Waste Management, the City of Little Rock and Ripple Glass." Heiple added, "The level of interest by District restaurants in participating has been great and we hope to have others join the effort as the program continues."
Beginning in July, with the installation of the single stream recycling dumpster at the River Market's Ottenheimer Hall, patrons will find recycling containers throughout the Hall and on the surrounding property.
Diana McClung, Director of River Market Operations said, "We are excited to participate in this program as another way that we can have a positive impact on our community. We had hoped to have our recycling dumpster installed as part of the kick off on June 13; however, we will need to move a few Martin nesting boxes and cannot do so until their nesting season is over in July. In the meanwhile we are preparing our staff and Ottenheimer Hall vendors for the transition. "
The glass generated through the River Market Goes Green initiative will go to Ripple Glass Recycling in Kansas City, MO, for processing before it is turned over to Owens Corning, to be used in the manufacture of residential insulation.
Waste Management has agreed to pick up the glass and will hold it at their Recycle America facility where Ripple Glass will pick it up and haul it from Little Rock to their facility in Kansas City, MO. Ripple will then process it and deliver it to Owens Corning. "The great thing about this program is that not only are our District partners doing their part here in Little Rock, but that the end result is a product that offers an additional environmental benefit through residential insulation", said Heiple.