Free rain barrels are available through a partnership between the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Baltimore Coca-Cola Bottling Company and OMO-Science, Energy & Technology. By collecting rainwater that normally flows off a property, rain barrels save money on water bills, conserve water during dry periods and prevent polluted runoff.

The Alliance, a longstanding advocate of water conservation, recently approached Baltimore Coca- Cola about reusing its barrels for collecting rainwater and received an enthusiastic response. The reuse of the 55-gallon barrels not only help in the effort to protect the Chesapeake Bay watershed, but also eliminate the energy Baltimore Coca-Cola would have expended recycling the plastic barrels.

As of June 2008, Baltimore Coca-Cola had donated more than 250 barrels to the Alliance. The empty barrels are transported to the OMO-SET warehouse in West Baltimore, where the Alliance distributes them to watershed organizations and environmental education groups.

Anyone interested in obtaining a barrel can call the Alliance at 410-377-6270 to obtain information on local watershed organizations participating in the distribution program.

"The Alliance believes in the benefits of developing a partnership and program such as this one because we focus on creating collaborative solutions with area businesses," said Lou Etgen, interim director for the Alliance.

Baltimore Coca-Cola, which employs more then 450 employees in the Greater Baltimore region, recently announced the introduction of 10 hybrid-electric delivery trucks to the Baltimore market.

By the end of 2008, Coca-Cola Enterprises will have the largest fleet of hybrid-electric delivery trucks with more than 140 on the road in North America.

OMO-SET supplies and distributes wholesale petroleum products throughout the United States and provides comprehensive, nationwide hazardous and non-hazardous waste-collection, recovery, recycling and disposal services.