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Recycling competition awards $140,000 to California schools and diverts 7.7 million pounds from state landfills

Keep California Beautiful was joined by representatives from the California Department of Resources for Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), and the American Chemistry Council to announce the results of the 2020 K–12 Recycling Challenge and the changes to the contest for 2021.

“We are fortunate to have support from a wide variety of industries and state organizations to continue educating, engaging and encouraging California students to recognize the value of recycling,” said Ray Scott, Keep California Beautiful Board President.

The K-12 Recycling Challenge is the only school program in the state promoting California’s diversion rate goals through collaborative efforts including industry, state agencies, non-government organizations, public and private schools, and waste haulers. The annual competition is endorsed by CalRecycle and is supported by corporate donations from a wide variety of industries including the American Chemistry Council, American Beverage Association, the Carton Council, Dart, Pepsi, Metropolitan Recycling, LLC. and others.

Since its inception in 2015, the K-12 Recycling Challenge has awarded more than $140,000 to winning schools across the state and helped divert more than 7.7 million pounds of recyclable material from California’s landfills.

“We know that teaching the value of recycling at an early age works, and we recognize the benefit these habits will have in the long term,” said Lindsay Stovall, American Chemistry Council Director of State and Regulatory Affairs. “It is a privilege to partner with Keep California Beautiful to support this important recycling competition.”

“Thanks to Keep California Beautiful and its ‘K-12 Recycling Challenge,’ millions of California students have recycled more than 7 million tons of material,” said Ken DaRosa, acting Director for CalRecycle. “That’s millions of tons of metal, glass, paper and plastic kept out of our landfills and off of our streets.”

In addition to the annual recycling competition, Keep California Beautiful has received the support of CalRecycle and Caltrans on other events, including the Great American Cleanup which takes place every Spring.

“Caltrans collects nearly 300,000 cubic yards of litter a year from the state’s highways—enough to fill 18,000 garbage trucks,” said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin. “California needs the public’s help to keep our highways and the environment free of litter and safe for all Californians.”

While the competition will feature three new components in 2021, KCB and its partners are looking forward to continuing to promote education and awareness about recycling in communities across the state.

This article was released by Keep California Beautiful.