Mesa school helps local charity with recycling efforts - East Valley Tribune: Mesa

Mesa school helps local charity with recycling efforts

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Posted: Saturday, July 5, 2014 3:30 pm

A local elementary school has raised more than $1,000 for charity by recycling Capri Sun drink pouches.

Las Sendas Elementary School has collected nearly 80,000 pouches during its drive and raised more than $1,300 in the process. Annie Brown, a first-grade teacher at Las Sendas Elementary in Mesa, said she first began to collect Capri Sun drink pouches about three and a half years ago when a child in her class asked to collect them for a project conducted by his mother, a fifth-grade teacher at another school. Brown and her class sent the pouches home with the student at first but later decided to collect pouches themselves.

“This was something doable. The kids can be very much involved in it on an everyday basis,” Brown said.

The Drink Pouch Brigade, a recycling incentive program by TerraCycle, involves 40,000 schools across the country sending in the Capri Sun drink pouches many kids drink every day. The program, which began in 2007, took off when Capri Sun joined in 2008. It recently started the Milestone Program with rewards for schools, groups or individuals who reach certain recycling goals.

“The program is free to anybody,” said Lauren Taylor, director of U.S. public relations for TerraCycle. “A school can sign up, individuals can sign up. It’s really a great opportunity to teach about recycling.”

Taylor said the program is simple and convenient to use. Pouches just need to be empty and in some sort of shippable container; there is no need to process them at all. Shipping labels can be printed from the company’s website. TerraCycle pays 2 to 3 cents for each pouch, depending on the volume sent in, and schools can keep the proceeds or choose a charity to have a check sent to.

Las Sendas has sent in 18,000 pouches just since the Milestone Program began, not counting the estimated 60,000 before then. The school donates its proceeds to Arizona Brainfood — a group that sends backpacks of food home for the weekend with local children in need.

“It’s easy to participate,” said Taylor. “Put in the tax ID number where you want the money to go and start collecting. We have schools that design really incredible collection bins. It can be a very formal or informal program at the school.”

With more than 78,000 locations, the Drink Pouch Brigade program has collected more than 2 million units and raised more than $4 million dollars.

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