CHICAGO (CBS) — The Coca-Cola Company has stepped forward to pay for 50,000 blue carts for the city’s curbside recycling program, even though the city had essentially raised the money for them already.

WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports Coca-Cola is giving the city a grant of nearly $2.6 million to help expand blue cart recycling citywide by the end of the year.

“Twenty-five thousand recycling containers now, and 25,000 more recycling containers to come over the next couple of years,” said Matt McKenna, president of the non-profit Keep America Beautiful.

Coca-Cola senior vice president Sonya Soutus told Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday the corporation was happy to provide the money for the new recycling bins.

“We are very, very happy that you have allowed us to be a part of your vision, and to help bring it to fruition by the end of 2013,” she said.

Because the city will save millions by using a grid-based trash collection system, as well as competition between city trash collection crews and private contractors, the Emanuel administration had already covered the cost of the new recycling bins. This will be extra money for the program.

“It’s on top of, and it’s built into the plan and the program,” the mayor said.

Officials have not said how the additional money will be spent.