Northern Neck Montessori School (NNMS) in Kilmarnock has been named the National Champion of the Great American Can Roundup’s (GACR) School Recycling Challenge. The students collected and recycled an average of 137 pounds of aluminum beverage cans each to become this year’s Grand Champion.
Collectively, schools from 40 states recycled over 3 million aluminum beverage cans.
Sponsored by the Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI), schools from across the country collected aluminum cans from America Recycles Days, November 15, 2016, through Earth Day, April 22, for the School Recycling Challenge. The top recycling school received $5,000 and the top recycler in each state received $1,000.
More than 39,000 students participated from 24 competing schools that collected 1,000 pounds or more of aluminum beverage cans.
“An aluminum can discarded into a landfill will still be an aluminum can in five years and 500 years, providing no benefit to anyone and burdening our Earth for the resources and energy to replace it,” said NNMS dean of administration Beth Rohne.
“Many of the cans collected in our GACR effort have already been recycled into cans on grocery shelves today. The infinite recyclability of aluminum illustrates the endless responsibility we have to be good stewards of our planet; becoming global citizens who respect all living things and their environment is a key goal in our Montessori educational work,” said dean of curriculum Suzanne Moughon. ”
Getting children involved in this work—by collecting, packing, crushing and delivering cans and, just as importantly, talking about recycling to their family, friends and neighbors—shows them that anyone and everyone, even the youngest among us, can make a difference in their community,” she said.
CMI created the GACR to build awareness about the environmental benefits of recycling cans. In addition to the prize money, schools earned more than $44,000 by redeeming their aluminum beverage cans to put towards school activities, local charities, special causes and community outreaches of their choice.
“Congratulations to all of the students who have participated in this year’s GACR School Challenge,” said CMI president Robert Budway. “The impact in educating our younger generations on the benefits of aluminum can recycling is evident by these inspiring environmental leaders from communities across the United States.
“Beverage cans are a unique package in that they are infinitely recyclable and allow the opportunity to conserve resources. Aluminum is a permanent material that can be utilized over and over again through recycling,” he said.