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Football passions harnessed to drive up recycling rates

Coca-Cola is harnessing the passions of football fans with a campaign that offers rewards for local clubs if residents pledge to raise kerbside recycling rates. The company has been working with 13 football clubs, local authorities (LAs) and the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP). The Coca-Cola Talent from Trash scheme, launched in early September, links increases in household recycling rates with money donated to local clubs across the Championship, League 1 and League 2. Fans can win up to £18,000 for their club to be spent on youth development if they pledge to recycle more at www.talent-from-trash.com. By pledging online, one fan can win an extra £10,000 for their club and £5,000 for themselves. Clubs will also win extra cash based on the recorded uplift of household waste recycling levels in their areas during the 12 weeks the scheme runs. The 13 clubs taking part are Accrington Stanley, Brentford, Burnley, Cardiff City, Coventry City, Huddersfield Town, Norwich City, Nottingham Forest, QPR, Southampton, Swansea City, Swindon Town and Wycombe Wanderers. Company corporate social responsibility director Liz Lowe said: A 4% uplift in recycling in any one community would be a good result. LAs are measuring it month by month as well as working with Waste Watchers to assess the progress. This has also been a catalyst for clubs to put more recycling facilities in their stadiums. Its rewarding recycling behaviour as an audience by linking it to something people feel passionate about. Before we roll it out with other clubs, we want to see how it goes and then assess how we could do it better before we make our 2008 plans. Football League chairman Lord Mawhinney said: By pledging to recycle their household waste, supporters will make a positive impact. Firstly they will be providing a boost to their clubs youth development programme, secondly they will give themselves the chance of winning a cash prize and thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, they will be making a contribution towards protecting our environment. Therefore, this is a win-win-win situation. Image: Southampton Football Club manager George Burley launching the scheme in Southampton

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