Recycling firm offers cash incentives for local schools

An international recycling company based out of New Jersey has found a way to make previously unrecyclable trash fashionable, and some Callaway schools are benefiting.

Kingdom Christian Academy in Fulton and North Elementary in Holts Summit are both taking part in TerraCycle, Inc.’s waste collection “brigades,” where certain designated trash items that aren’t typically recyclable such as candy wrappers and juice packages are collected and repurposed into products ranging from purses, flower pots, park benches and ice melt.

TerraCycle donates two cents per unit of trash to the schools, and covers the costs of shipping.

Kingdom Christian Academy preschool teacher Trina Cunningham helped implement the program at her school about six years ago collecting Capri Sun pouches from students to be remade into things such as tote and messenger bags. She said that the program only brings in between $16 and $30 a year for the school, but that still translates to roughly 1,500 pouches saved from the environment.

“It’s pretty small, and we’re a pretty small school so it doesn’t generate a lot of packets,” said Cunningham. “But that’s not going into the landfills, and they use some of those to make lunch boxes and totes and you can see the actual packages on those things, which is kind of cool.”

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