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Oct 19, 2012


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Sandra Boggs
Planning, Prevention and Assistance


Recycling Challenge Brings Out Schools’ Competitive Spirits


(HELENA) It’s time to sign up for the annual School Recycling Challenge between November 15th, 2012 and Earth Day 2013.

Last year Fromberg High recycled more than 52 pounds of aluminum cans per student to win the state challenge and $1,000 in the statewide contest. The prize money is in addition to the revenue received from recycling the cans. Fromberg reported earning more $1,000 for the school just from recycling proceeds. Can Fromberg do it again? Will Cascade High School, which won the statewide contest in 2011 – and finished in second place nationally – rise to the challenge and win first place again? Or will your school?

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is encouraging more schools to become involved in the annual competition. The School Recycling Challenge runs from America Recycles Day, November 15th of each year, to Earth Day, April 22nd of the following year. All schools are eligible to participate and must sign up by the January 16, 2013 deadline at

The school with the highest per capita recycling rate in each state is awarded a $1,000 prize. The school with the highest per capita rate nationwide receives a $5,000 prize. Expedition Academy in Green River, Wyoming has won first place nationally for the past two years.

Last year more than ten Montana schools participated in the Challenge, with three finishing in the top ten nationally. Fromberg, Cascade and Judith Gap High Schools all participated and came in second place, third place and sixth place, respectively. The nationwide contest is sponsored by the Can Manufacturers Institute.

"Montana students really get into the spirit of recycling and the competition between schools," said Sandra Boggs, Recycling and Market Development Specialist for DEQ. "These accomplishments demonstrate more than the pounds of aluminum cans recycled per student – it demonstrates how communities can step up and stand together in support of a single goal."

The competition seems to work really well for Montana schools, "since we have a low population density but a high number of recyclers," Boggs added. Rural schools have won all three national prizes for the past two years. "It would be great to see a Montana school win first place nationally and beat Wyoming," she said.

In addition to Fromberg High’s 52 pounds per student accomplishment last year, Cascade High recycled over 28 pounds per student and Judith Gap did nearly 24 lbs of aluminum cans per student. Expedition Academy in Wyoming recycled more than 70 pounds per student.

Get your school signed up today!

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