Purchase, New York-based PepsiCo Recycling has announced Recycle Rally, a free program designed to educate and instill recycling behaviors at K-12 schools across the United States, diverted nearly 10 million pounds of recyclables from landfills during the 2018-19 academic year.
Participating schools in the Recycle Rally compete in an annual recycling contest and the schools that collect the most recyclables win funding for sustainability initiatives. Arnold Elementary, San Antonio, and O’Connell College Preparatory School, Galveston, Texas, emerged as the top performing schools in the contest.
Since launching in 2010, Recycle Rally has facilitated collections of 500 million recyclable containers, plastic bottles and cans, PepsiCo Recycling says in a news release.
Recycle Rally is active in more than 6,000 K-12 schools, providing the funding and resources crucial to addressing the gap in recycling education in the U.S. Currently, 62 percent of Americans worry that a lack of knowledge is causing them to recycle incorrectly and 25 percent of all recycling is contaminated often due to consumer misunderstanding about how to sort recyclables.
“The success of Recycle Rally shows that if we can create an environment where children feel empowered to recycle and educated to recycle properly they will go the extra mile to ensure their empty cans or bottles don’t end up in a landfill,” says Tom Mooradian, manager of environmental sustainability at PepsiCo. “It’s about normalizing recycling behaviors at the earliest possible age, so they become second nature. Our goal is that these children will change the status quo and help make our vision of a circular economy a reality.”