Hickory Creek Elementary students recycled their little hearts out last year. They collected more than 18,000 drink pouches and earned $700 for their school.
"We are so proud of our students," said Hickory Creek principal Vickie Dodd. "The children have taken on the responsibility of collecting the drink pouches. They even bring in the drink pouches they use over the weekend. They save them at home and deposit them in the bin Monday morning. When we have school parties, the parents are really good about serving Capri Sun so the pouches can be used in our collection effort."
The school began sending the pouches to TerraCycle for its Capri Sun Drink Pouch Brigade contest during the 2013-14 school year. The contest is a free recycling program that rewards people for collecting and sending their waste to TerraCycle to be recycled or upcycled.
Dodd says the school’s inclusion in the program is credited to special education teacher Stephanie Davis.
"Stephanie is such a team player," said Dodd. "She is all about ways to make our school great. Every day she is searching for that one thing she can do to make our school better. This program was her idea. She does all the work. She counts the drink pouches and she sends them in. She is a wonderful teacher and an asset to this school."
Funds raised through the recycling program are earmarked for the school’s Positive Behavior Support (PBS) program. The program allows teachers to provide children with "Creek Cash" as a reward for good behavior.
A couple times a month, the school offers fun activities that the children can participate in if they have enough Creek Cash. Recently, the school used some of the funds to purchase colorful sand and students with Creek Cash were allowed to fill clear containers to make sand art.
Davis says she wanted to raise funds for the school’s program and teach students about the importance of recycling.
"I wanted to raise funds for our PBS program and being involved in the TerraCycle program allows the children to learn about being green and the benefits of recycling. Then, the money they helped earn for their school gets returned to them through incentives for good behavior. This is just a wonderful program all the way around," said Davis.
TerraCycle, Inc. is an international upcycling and recycling company that takes difficult-to recycle-packaging and turns it into affordable, innovative products. Founded in 2001, TerraCycle is the world’s leader in the collection and reuse of non-recyclable post-consumer waste. TerraCycle works with more than 30 major brands in the U.S. and around the world to collect used packaging and products that would otherwise be destined for landfills
Along with drink pouches, Hickory Creek has been approved by TerraCycle to submit glue sticks for recycling/ upcycling. The school is also collecting chip bags and is awaiting approval from the company to submit them.
For information on how to join a TerraCycle Brigade and on purchasing TerraCycle products please visit www.terracycle.com.