Recyclers will clink to that
Drinking With Benefits urges bars and restaurants to keep glass bottles out of landfills
A new nonprofit group that advocates recycling at Dallas restaurants and bars has a novel approach: promoting its cause through happy hours and parties at “green” venues.
Drinking With Benefits held its kickoff happy hour March 12 at the Londoner pub in Uptown. It plans a green party Tuesday at State & Allen Lounge .
The idea began last summer when Narisha Johnson of Dallas couldn’t find a recycling bin at a concert. She and three eco-friends launched Drinking With Benefits to encourage businesses to recycle.
“I wouldn’t call myself a tree hugger … but I’m very much into recycling and environmental issues,” said Johnson, a freelance marketer and Web designer.
There are five members so far: Blue Collar Bar, the Londoner, State & Allen Lounge, Times Ten Cellars and Trinity Hall Irish Pub. Johnson said six bars and restaurants are in a trial run, and she’s talking to several others.
Long term, Johnson wants to persuade Dallas officials to offer recycling for businesses. New York, San Diego and Seattle are among the cities with mandatory recycling for businesses.
Dallas bars and clubs create tons of recyclable glass and cardboard, but most of it goes to landfills, Johnson said.
Nationally, a quarter of the 13.6 million tons of glass waste in 2007 was recycled. Beer, wine, liquor and soft drinks account for most glass containers.
“The biggest issue I’ve heard is the cost of recycling,” Johnson said. So Drinking With Benefits formed a cooperative to offer members recycling at lower prices, she said.
Recycle Revolution charges the coop $10 per container per pickup, director Eddie Lott said.
Drinking With Benefits’ members also get free marketing — a green party, coasters, T-shirts and a recycling plaque. The group will post statistics of each member’s recycling efforts on its Web site, www.drinkwhereitsgreen.org.
The Londoner’s page says it increased glass recycling eightfold and began recycling cardboard in January.
Johnson, who invested about $2,000 in the group, wants to expand elsewhere.
Drinking With Benefits co-founder Narisha Johnson is recruiting restaurants and bars, including the Londoner, for green happy hours and parties. The group has also formed a co-op for low-cost recycling for businesses.