Coca-Cola turns syrup barrels into rain barrels at 5/21 birthday celebration in Niles - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Coca-Cola turns syrup barrels into rain barrels at 5/21 birthday celebration in Niles

Photo courtesy of Coca-Cola Refreshments

Come out to Niles this Saturday, May 21, to receive a free rain barrel – and celebrate Coca-Cola's 125th birthday.

Dave Katz is Senior Vice President, Midwest Region, Coca-Cola Refreshments.

On the heels of several rain-drenched weeks in the Chicagoland area, I’m sure many of you Chicagoans were wondering what life would have been like if you had a rain barrel to recycle that rain water to wash your car, or water your lawn and garden projects – saving you up to 40 percent on your water bill!

Wait, you weren’t? Tsk, tsk. As most of us have heard by now, water is one of the most precious resources on the planet -- and as a key ingredient in every Coca-Cola beverage, it is essential to our operations.  But even more so, water is critical to the well-being of the communities and ecosystems in which we work and live.  At Coca-Cola, we are intensely focused on water stewardship and have set aggressive goals to:

  • Reduce the amount of water used to produce our beverages,
  • Recycle water used in our manufacturing processes so it can be returned safely to the environment, and
  • Replenish water in communities and nature through a global network of local partnerships and projects.

With our Midwest Region headquarters located in Niles, Ill., and two production facilities, 13 distribution centers, and more than 3,000 employees based in Illinois, our commitment to educating local communities about water stewardship is stronger than ever before.  Over the last few years we’ve partnered with Chicago-area environmental groups, cities and schools to help raise awareness of the little things each one of us can do to reduce the amount of water we use and more. 

This month, as we celebrate Coca-Cola’s 125th birthday, we have committed to building and donating 125 rain barrels – made from our 55-gallon syrup drums – to the residents of Niles. On Saturday we will be distributing those barrels at the Clarence E. Culver school in Niles from 9 a.m. to noon. We’ll also host three workshops that morning on the hour that will address how to install rain barrels and how to create a rain garden in your backyard -- and of course we’ll also celebrate our birthday with cake!  

We chose this location because Culver School and the Niles troop of Boy Scouts obtained a grant to construct a rain garden in the front of the school after hearing about the Niles Community Rain Garden. In 2008 when that garden was created by Coca-Cola and other local area businesses, the purpose was to educate the community and encourage action. Saturday’s event illustrates how the community, businesses and schools are coming together with a common goal: to do a better job caring for our water resources. 

We welcome you out to the rain barrel distribution event this weekend to take part in the barrel building experience, share what you learn with your communities, and inspire happiness and water stewardship programming well beyond our anniversary.  

Rain barrel giveaway and rain garden demonstration event, sponsored by Coca-Cola

9:00 a.m. to noon
Saturday, May 21, 2011

Clarence E. Culver School
6901 W. Oakton St.
Niles, IL 60714 

For more details contact:
Katie Busch
Coca-Cola Refreshments


  1. 1. Rhea Kleeblatt from Buffalo Grove, IL on May 21, 2011

    That is GREAT! Thanks Coke!

  2. 2. Jodi Bennett Bitler from Atlanta on July 1, 2011

    Is this available in Atlanta?

  3. 3. Mandy Burrell Booth on July 5, 2011

    Jodi, I believe this was a one-time event sponsored in Chicago only.

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