The New Glasgow elementary school has been collecting Lunchmate containers and squeeze pouches for several years, with the materials being sent to recycling company TerraCycle.
That company takes packaging that’s typically not recycled and turns it into new products, diverting it from landfills and incinerators.
The waste collected is melted into plastic pellets that can be moulded into such things as pencil cases, Frisbees, benches, picnic tables and playgrounds.
For each piece of waste sent in, participants earn points that can be translated into cash donations to the school.
Educational assistant Pam Cameron initiated the recycling of these products at A.G. Baillie, and said while the school only receives pennies for each item, they’ve raised almost $300 in the past two years “for stuff that goes in the garbage. It doesn’t take much effort, and it costs nothing.”
She notes that TerraCycle pays for the shipping.
Grade 2 student Sam Wagner got involved with the project at its beginning, and said he likes to collect the items. Students are responsible for gathering the recyclables from each classroom on a regular basis, and bringing them to a storage area.
Wagner is also happy to help the environment and to raise funds for his school. “They can make other things” with the items, he said.
The picnic table prize is made from recycled applesauce pouches, while the garden is made from 100 per cent recycled material as well. The prizes are from two separate contests – one for collecting the most snack pouch waste, including the flexible pouches and plastic caps – and the other for air and home care waste such as spray trigger heads and bottles. Both the Ready, Set, GoGo and Febreze Frenzy contests end on May 31.
Participants earn two points for each piece of air and home care waste sent to TerraCycle for recycling during the contest period.
Schools earn one point for each GoGo squeeZ pouch sent to TerraCycle for recycling, and one point for each vote received on the contest page during the contest period.
A. G. Baillie’s efforts can be supported by voting online at http://www.terracycle.ca/en-CA/contests/ready-set-gogo/.