Looking for a "green tip" for your PTA newsletter? Or just want to start (or add to?) a recycling collection center at school for odds and ends? Keep reading!
Over 75 million pounds of PVC material from plastic cards enters our waste stream each year.* If you are one of the many PTAs that passively raise money through grocery card programs, you KNOW how much new plastic that generates. Cards from the Randall's and HEB can't be re-charged, are not recycled at check-out, and most of them end up in our landfill!
Good news! There are some great ways to help your school community recycle that wallet waste!
1. Let them know that HEB's grocery bag recycling bins ALSO accept the cards and other cards, such as insurance cards. Other items they accept are: plastic newspaper sleeves, dry-cleaning bags, six-pack rings, and plastic wrap, such as around paper towels and toilet tissue.
2. Start your own recycling center at school to collect these cards, among other items.** Be sure to take them to HEB frequently -- too many cards deposited at once could break the plastic bag that holds everything else!
3. If you have LOTS of cards to recycle at once, you may ship them to Earthworks Systems in Bedford, Ohio. Companies like this one recycle the cards into new plastic cards that are sold to hotel chains and even some Austin stores as gift cards!
*source: http://www.earthworkssystem.com/ Accessed 1/19/2012
** other items that PTAs can collect for recycling are ink cartridges, cell phones, corks, styrofoam packaging for recycling at local businesses. Terracycle.com also accepts a variety of items by pre-paid shipment including: Capri Sun juice pouches, coffee bags, Elmer glue sticks, Lay's potato chip bags, and much more. To find out how to recycle those hard-to-recycle items around town, post a comment for us.