Starting today, Alcoa Foundation and DoSomething.org, the largest U.S. organization for teens and social change, will run the biggest youth-led aluminum can recycling drive in the country, targeting high school students. The goal of the drive is to activate a minimum of 40,000 young people across the U.S. to participate in the campaign, which runs from today through December 18, 2012. It is part of Alcoa Foundation’s 2012 Clinton Global Initiative commitment, in which the organization will grant a minimum of $2 million over 2012 and 2013 to fund new, innovative recycling programs throughout the United States that educate and activate students of all ages, incentivize behavior change, and increase access to recycling programs.
Aluminum is infinitely recyclable, but not everyone knows this - especially teens. Many schools have recycling programs that encourage students to recycle, but they don’t talk about why recycling aluminum is important or have fun and valuable incentives for teens to participate.
“50 Cans” will use an innovative model to educate and encourage teens nationally to recycle aluminum cans that otherwise would be thrown in the trash. It is estimated that more than $800 million worth of aluminum is buried in landfills each year. That’s not only a boatload of valuable aluminum; it’s also a lot of wasted energy. Recycling just one can provides enough energy to listen to a whole album on your iPod, with six cans you can watch all eight of the Harry Potter movies and with 100 you can keep your bedroom light on for two whole weeks.
Using the web, social media, and text messaging, teens who run drives will get the chance to win a $5,000 scholarship. Every 50 cans collected means one more ticket into the scholarship lottery! Participants will also get additional opportunities to win the scholarship by sharing statistics about aluminum recycling with friends via text.