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Schools receive money for sending in garbage

Local schools are learning how waste can be reused instead of thrown away. Students at Northern Elementary School, St. Philip's School and Bemidji Area Schools' Kids and Company/SummerKids program are collecting items like drink pouches, candy wr...

Local schools are learning how waste can be reused instead of thrown away.

Students at Northern Elementary School, St. Philip's School and Bemidji Area Schools' Kids and Company/SummerKids program are collecting items like drink pouches, candy wrappers, chip bags, plastic baggies and plastic containers and earning their schools 2 cents for each piece of waste they send to TerraCycle, a company that makes eco-friendly products from packaging waste.

The company has also started to turn waste items into eco-friendly plastics, fence posts and paving stones.

According to Emily Bradford, publicist at TerraCycle, Northern Elementary has earned $175.66 and has kept 8,783 pieces of waste out of the landfills. Bemidji Schools' Kids & Company has earned $10.02 and St. Philip's School has received $7.42.

In Minnesota, 229,606 pieces of waste have been diverted from going into the local landfill through the recycling program, and $4,592 has been given back to schools and nonprofit organizations.

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Nationwide, more than 50,000 schools and community groups have signed up to help collect more than 25 million used pieces of packaging. The school recycling program is free for schools to sign up and shipping is also free of charge.

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