Beverage facilities are models of recycling and repurposing materials. From cardboard to out of date products, our members send very few things to landfills. Common to most facilities are syrup barrels– large, rigid plastic containers that enjoy many “second lives” after they hold a key ingredient for soft drinks.
In the Coca-Cola system, some of these vessels are donated to community gardens for use as rain barrels, while some Youngstown barrels are flying high in a unique donation program with the 757th Airlift Squadron. Jenelle Spagnola, Business Manager for Coca-Cola Youngstown explains that “We provide support for education, the arts, non-profit organizations, programs for youth and in this case, we gladly support our military by providing empty syrup barrels for the 757th Airlift Squadron. We were approached almost 10 years ago by a contact from the base to see if we could provide something that they could use for their training exercises. The barrels were a perfect fit. We have been partnering with them ever since.”
On a recent facility tour in Youngstown State Representative John Boccieri (D-59) thanked Jenelle and her team for the partnership. Rep. Boccieri is also known as Lieutenant Colonel Boccieri, Commander of the 757th Airlift Squadron. He shared that, “These barrels, which once contained syrup for Coke products, were filled with water and repurposed for airdrop training devices aboard our C-130 aircraft. Those devices helped train aircrew from my unit who are deployed today in dangerous places around the globe.”
Talk about repurpose with a purpose. We salute the ingenuity and partnership of Coca-Cola Youngstown and the dedicated military personnel at the 757th Airlift Squadron. And many thanks to Rep. John Boccieri for providing photos of the barrels in action, and for his service.