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McDonald’s USA Expands Partnership with Keep America Beautiful

Collaboration Builds Upon McDonald’s “Good Neighbor, Good Grounds” Initiative with National Sponsorship of Great American Cleanup and National Planting Day

OAK BROOK, IL and STAMFORD, CT (Sept. 07 2017) — McDonald’s USA (NYSE: MCD) and Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s iconic community improvement nonprofit organization, today announced an expansion of a partnership which dates back more than 30 years to help fulfill a vision of a country in which every community is a clean, green and beautiful place to live.
McDonald’s will become a National Sponsor of Keep America Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup (GAC), the largest year-round community improvement program in the country. Efforts will get underway on September 9, 2017 with National Planting Day, a fall initiative of the GAC. McDonald’s will donate used coffee grounds for community gardens to Keep America Beautiful Affiliates in select markets starting in 2017 with plans to expand further in 2018.  The used coffee grounds add nitrogen and potassium to the soil, as well as a boost of magnesium, which all plants need to stay healthy.
“Partnering with Keep America Beautiful advances our commitment to using our company’s size and reach for good,” said Ian Olson, Senior Director, North American Sustainability, McDonald’s Corporation. “We are proud to offer our used coffee grounds for use in local gardens instead of landfills at our participating restaurants.  That’s great for the environment and the communities we serve.”
The new collaboration will build upon McDonald’s long-standing “Good Neighbor, Good Grounds” coffee grounds recycling program by cultivating local relationships between Keep America Beautiful’s more than 600 Affiliates and McDonald’s restaurants. Participating restaurants have been offering free bags of used coffee grounds for use in home and community gardens since the program’s inception in 2015.
“We’re incredibly grateful to McDonald’s for their support in shining a light on the Great American Cleanup and National Planting Day, which provide hands-on opportunities for anyone to participate in improving their local communities,” said Helen Lowman, president and CEO, Keep America Beautiful. “Like McDonald’s, our footprint touches thousands of communities and millions of people. We are eager to help McDonald’s, its restaurants and employees give the used coffee grounds another life as we work to create more beauty across America.”
The organizations plan to pilot the program starting this fall with National Planting Day. The national observance day celebrates the critical nature of native plants and trees in enhancing biodiversity, rebuilding ecosystems and supporting pollinator health. Beautiful public places transcend aesthetic appeal to positively impact the lives of area residents, visitors, businesses and institutions. Green spaces restore our communities, helping to make them more environmentally healthy, socially connected, and economically sound. National Planting Day focuses on four areas of need:
  • Increasing the number of native trees in public spaces.
  • Bringing natural beauty and sustainable urban infrastructure to “built environments.”
  • Creating community-supported sustainable vegetable and fruit gardens.
  • Greening and restoring vacant lots with low-maintenance indigenous plants and trees in underserved urban and rural neighborhoods. 
Held annually the first Saturday after Labor Day, National Planting Day kicks off the fall planting season for Keep America Beautiful Affiliates and other community partners with events taking place through October. Tips and ideas for celebrating National Planting Day can be found at
Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2018, the Great America Cleanup is the nation’s largest community improvement program with an estimated 60,000 events occurring from spring through fall in more than 20,000 communities across the country. The Great American Cleanup annually engages millions of volunteers throughout the country to help renew parks, trails and recreation areas; clean shorelines and waterways; remove litter and debris; reduce waste and improve recycling; and plant trees, flowers and community gardens, among other activities to inspire a new generation of community stewards. National sponsors of the 2017 Great American Cleanup include Altria, DowThe Glad Products CompanyLowe’sNiagara Bottling and ReadyRefreshSM by Nestlé®
About McDonald’s USA
McDonald’s USA, LLC, serves a variety of menu options made with quality ingredients to more than 25 million customers every day. Nearly 90 percent of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by businessmen and women. Customers can now log online for free at approximately 11,500 participating Wi-Fi enabled McDonald’s U.S. restaurants. For more information, visit, or follow us on Twitter @McDonalds and Facebook
About Keep America Beautiful
Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s iconic community improvement nonprofit organization, inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. Established in 1953, we strive to End Littering, Improve Recycling and Beautify America’s Communities. We believe everyone has a right to live in a clean, green and beautiful community, and shares a responsibility to contribute to that vision.
Behavior change – steeped in education, research and behavioral science – is the cornerstone of Keep America Beautiful. We empower generations of community stewards with volunteer programs, hands-on experiences, curricula, practical advice and other resources to deliver measurable environmental, economic and social benefits. The organization is driven by more than 600 state and local Keep America Beautiful Affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the support of corporate partners, social and civic service organizations, academia, municipalities and government officials. Join us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Donate and take action at

Media Contacts:
Mike Rosen, Keep America Beautiful
Andrea Abate, McDonald’s

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