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Belle Aire Students Participate in 3rd Annual 'Trash for Cash' Raffle

The Downers Grove elementary school recently partnered with Terracycle to collect hard-to-recycle items and earn cash for academic programs.

Editor's Note: The following article was written by Sarah Heinz, a student at Herrick Middle School in Downers Grove. 

Did you know that 99 percent of the total material flow in the United States becomes garbage within six months? Garbage goes to landfills where it releases carbon emissions that have a negative impact on the environment. Technically, some “non-recyclable” materials can be recycled, but they must be collected, sorted and brought to special recycling facilities which process them differently from traditional recycleable materials such as glass, metal, paper and plastic.

Belle Aire School students recently participated in a “Trash for Cash” program. Belle Aire works with a company called Terracycle to collect these hard-to-recycle items such as used juice pouch containers, used beauty product packaging and diaper packaging.

The school receives about 2 cents per item shipped to Terracycle. The company then uses these things to make new products. The items are kept out of landfills and the Belle Aire PTA earns a little bit of cash to support its programs.

The students brought many of these items to school for entry into a raffle. The Belle Aire PTA is proud to announce the winners of the raffle: Clara Lerch, Mary Lerch, Fumei Jackson, Brooklyn Thomas, Julia Szostak, John Curtis, Aisling Kerr, Sotis Gouriotis, Ben Sevcik and Rebecca Waden.

Andy Thompson won a $50 gift certificate from Frugal Muse. The store's manager, Paul Garrison, donated $25 worth of the $50 prize.

“I’m happy to support Belle Aire Elementary in its conservation effort," Garrison said. "When you think about it, recycling is what this store is all about. We take books, music, movies and video games that people don’t want anymore and sell them to other people at a lower price so more people can use them. We keep things out of landfills and give old books, music, movies and video games a new life.”

Sotis Gouriotis remarked, "I really like to recycle and be green! I think it is a great program and it inspires kids to recycle more. I'm very happy I won!"

Rebecca Waden added, "I participated in the Trash for Cash raffle because it is good for the environment, I love to recycle, and it raises money for our school."

The PTA would like to thank all students who participated, especially Julia McGuire and Jaye Sevcik, who made school announcements reminding students about the “Trash for Cash” program throughout the two week raffle period. Please visit Terracycle’s website (www.terracycle.com) for information on these and their many other national recycling programs. 

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