LACEY – While the end of the 2019-20 school year looks a little different this year, Cedar Creek Elementary School of Lanoka Harbor has something to celebrate – placing fourth in the national PepsiCo Recycle Rally contest.
This is Cedar Creek’s third consecutive year placing among the top five schools in the K-12 competition.
PepsiCo Recycling awarded Cedar Creek Elementary $35,000 for recycling an estimated 14 million containers, with help from the local community, during the 2019-2020 school year. Students learned about the importance of recycling through hand-on recycling lessons, by collecting items and participating in inner-school competitions.
The school also engaged the Lanoka Harbor community by placing bins around town and inviting local businesses to contribute their recyclable items including a trip to the local Wawa every morning to pick them up.
Cedar Creek Elementary School special education teacher Marini Zito served as PepsiCo Recycle Rally staff sponsor. She said it was a friendly competition with her husband that led to a student recycling movement, which has inspired community-wide behavior change.
Tom Mooradian, PepsiCo Senior Manager of Environmental Sustainability said “PepsiCo is engaging the next generation to inspire an increase in recycling. PepsiCo Recycle Rally offers funding, resources and incentives to enable and encourage K-12 schools to recycle and is active in over 7,000 schools across the country.”
Funds awarded will go toward campus sustainability initiatives or other important projects benefiting the Cedar Creek Elementary School student community.
The school was awarded $35,000 for recycling efforts during the current school year.
The school can use the cash prize for sustainability initiatives or other important projects benefiting the student community.
PepsiCo Recycle Rally is a free program offering funding, resources and incentives to enable and encourage more than 7,000 K-12 schools to recycle. With help from the local community, Cedar Creek students recycled an estimated 14 million containers during the 2019-2020 school year. The school has recycled an estimated 43 million containers since joining the program in 2016.
“We brought Recycle Rally to Cedar Creek to create a movement that would include our entire student body. It doesn’t matter where you are academically or socially, recycling allows every student to make a big impact. We’re proud of our students’ achievements and the extent to which they’ve galvanized the Lanoka Harbor community around a single cause,” Zito said.
Mooradian said that PepsiCo Recycling is committed to advancing PepsiCo’s vision of a world where plastic need never become waste and understands that the future of recycling requires the involvement of the next generation. In its tenth year, Recycle Rally continues to harness the passion and activism of young people to improve recycling where they live and study.
The program is designed to energize K-12 students around recycling, to help students understand the impact of their efforts, and to celebrate their achievements. Recycle Rally is part of PepsiCo Recycling’s broader efforts to support a circular economy.
“We commend Cedar Creek Elementary School for placing among the top five schools competing in the Recycle Rally Challenge League for the third consecutive year,” Mooradian, said.
Mooradian added, “we are thankful for long-standing partnerships with schools who share our belief that environmental sustainability is vital to our future, and we are inspired by Cedar Creek’s impressive organization of a community-wide effort.”
This year, PepsiCo Recycle Rally awarded more than $350,000 in cash prizes to schools that collected the highest quantities of recyclable material in the contest’s Challenge League, measured by weight, and Universal League, measured by bag count.
The 2019-2020 Recycle Rally program began at the beginning of the 2019 school year and concluded a month early in March 2020, due to school closures related to COVID-19. Since the program launched in 2010, Recycle Rally schools have recycled more than 34.5 million pounds of PET, HDPE, aluminum, fiber, glass, and other plastics and metals, diverting these materials from landfill.
The PepsiCo Recycling initiative, introduced on Earth Day 2010, brings innovative recycling solutions to colleges and universities, K-12 schools, gas stations and popular retail locations across North America with the goal of increasing beverage container recycling rates.
With programs including college and university container collections and Recycle Rallies – and the help of many strategic partners, students and community members – PepsiCo is on its way to capturing more recyclables and creating a culture of recycling. For more information on Recycle Rally and the full list of winners, visit pepsicorecycling.com/RecycleRally.
PepsiCo Recycle Rally is a free program that provides recycling funding, resources and infrastructure to U.S. K-12 schools needed to instill proper recycling habits at a young age and close a national shortfall in recycling education.
Since its inception, Recycle Rally has kept over 600 million recyclable containers out of landfills and is now active in over 7,000 schools.