Friday, October 30, 2009

City of Atlanta Launches Pilot Incentive Based Recycling Program

/PRNewswire/ -- The City of Atlanta announced that a select group of Atlanta residents will soon be rewarded for their curbside recycling efforts. In an effort to encourage proper recycling habits, boost recycling participation, reduce the amount of recyclables being sent to area landfills and save taxpayer money, City officials introduced the pilot rewards program as an opportune way to move towards a greener, cleaner Atlanta.

In order to complement Atlanta's existing sustainability initiatives, the City of Atlanta has partnered with Rehrig Pacific, a container company and service provider, to bring a unique incentive based pilot recycling program to its residents. As part of this pilot program, Rehrig Pacific has collaborated with key sponsor Coca-Cola Recycling, LLC and rewards partner RecycleBank® to offer Atlanta residents a premiere rewards and loyalty program that incentivizes household recycling. City officials are confident they will see a rise in recycling volumes and a decrease in waste tonnages. In addition to the benefit to the environment, the rewards program will give residents and local businesses a needed economic boost.

The City of Atlanta selected 10,000 households for the incentive based pilot recycling program. The participating households represent a cross section of recyclers throughout the City. The RecycleBank® rewards program will encourage better participation in the curbside recycling program. It will also allow the City to evaluate changes in the amounts of recyclables collected from residents participating in the pilot program.

"Incentive based recycling will help us to meet our recycling and sustainability goals while giving something back to our residents. During today's recession and economic climate, saving money on groceries, on clothing, or at the pharmacy translates to great value. We have found a way to provide real financial rewards and help the environment at the same time," said Mayor Shirley Franklin.

Each home in the pilot area will receive a brand new 96-gallon blue cart, retrofitted with an ID tag with the resident's household address and RecycleBank account number. City trucks have been retrofitted with technology to read the cart ID tag. Upon activating their account with RecycleBank, either online or by phone, the household will begin to earn RecycleBank Points with every pick-up.

Points can be redeemed for rewards, gift cards, groceries, and products at hundreds of local and national RecycleBank Reward Partners. Partners include giant national brands and retailers such as Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Publix, and CVS/pharmacy, as well as local partners like Zoo Atlanta, Radial Café, Rita's Water Ice, MetroFresh, Edgewood Avenue Pizza, and Six Feet Under.

Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE), housed in Atlanta, is a significant player in making the pilot program a reality for their local neighbors. Through sponsorship dollars, they have enabled the purchase of the 10,000 Rehrig Pacific blue recycling carts needed for the pilot program.

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Friday, October 9, 2009

SBA Opens Business Recovery Center in Fulton County

(BUSINESS WIRE)--The U.S. Small Business Administration announces today that a Business Recovery Center in Fulton County is open to help businesses impacted by the severe storms and flooding in Georgia that began on September 18, 2009. The Center opened today at the Government Services Center, 2741 Roswell Road, Atlanta, GA 30350. The hours of operation are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday until further notice.

The disaster declaration covers the counties of: Bartow, Carroll, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fulton, Gwinnett, Heard, Newton, Paulding, Rockdale, Stephens and Walker in the State of Georgia, which are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA.

Small businesses and most private non-profit organizations in the following adjacent counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Banks, Barrow, Butts, Clayton, Dade, Dawson, Fayette, Floyd, Forsyth, Franklin, Gordon, Habersham, Hall, Haralson, Henry, Jackson, Jasper, Meriwether, Morgan, Pickens, Polk, Spalding, Troup, Walton and Whitfield in Georgia; Cherokee, Cleburne, DeKalb and Randolph in Alabama; Oconee in South Carolina; and Hamilton County in Tennessee.

Businesses and non-profit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million for physical losses. For small businesses, and most private non-profit organizations of all sizes, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.

Interest rates are as low as 4 percent for businesses, with terms up to 30 years. The SBA sets loan amounts and terms based on each applicant’s financial condition.

SBA’s representatives will be on hand at the Business Recovery Centers to issue loan applications, answer questions about the disaster loan program, explain the application process and help individuals complete their applications. The Business Recovery Centers are located in the following communities and will open as indicated below:

Government Services Center
7741 Roswell Road
Atlanta, GA 30350

8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday,
until further notice

Disaster loan information and application forms may be obtained by calling the SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the hearing impaired), Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. EDT, (including the holiday, Monday October 12) or send an email to Business loan applications can also be downloaded from the SBA Web site at Completed applications should be returned to the Centers or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155. Businesses may apply for disaster loans from SBA’s secure Web site at

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is November 23, 2009. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 24, 2010.

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Emory to Host Atlanta Mayoral Candidates' Forum

Emory University will host an Atlanta mayoral candidates forum and debate at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14, at Emory's Glenn Memorial Auditorium (1652 North Decatur Road, Atlanta, 30307). The forum is sponsored Emory’s Office of Government Affairs, Emory’s Center for Ethics, the League of Women Voters of Atlanta-Fulton County, WAGA FOX-5 and the Clifton Community Partnership.

“Part of the role of the Center for Ethics is to be a safe space for public discussion of controversial issues, so it is appropriate for the center to help host a discussion with the next mayor and the concerns that confront Atlanta – issues of poverty and homelessness, education and ethics, sustainability and the workforce environment,” says Paul Root Wolpe, director of Emory's ethics center. “We are thrilled work with our internal partner, the Office of Governmental and Community Affairs, as well as the League of Women Voters to sponsor this important conversation.”

As the contest for the next mayor of the City of Atlanta enters the final weeks prior to the election on Tuesday, Nov. 3, all the qualified candidates have been invited to the Emory campus to discuss these topics and other issues of interest not only to the university, but to the entire Atlanta region.

Confirmed attendees include:

• Lisa Borders, city council president

• Peter Brownlowe, former Atlanta police officer

• Kyle Keyser, founder of Atlantans Together Against Crime

• Mary Norwood, city councilwoman

• Kasim Reed, state senator

• Jesse Spikes, attorney

The forum is free and open to the public.

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