Aluminum can competition is now underway

As of Thursday, Tallahassee has entered the 2008 “Cans for Cash” City Recycling Challenge.

A news release for the 2008 CANpaign states that Leon County is “CANpaigning” for residents to keep all of their empty aluminum cans the entire month of October so they can be collected next month.

Tallahassee residents have increased recycling by 30 percent, according to the release.

Paul Hearst, the Recycle Coordinator for Solid Waste Services, said recycling aluminum cans is very important. He said in an effort to remind households to recycle, Solid Waste Services has increased recycle pickup from every other week to weekly collection.

Because of the new schedule, the need for landfills has diminished.

“Aluminum cans are a major waste drain, and are a top priority in recycle collection,” Hearst said. “The cans are not quickly biodegradable, and it’s critical that they be recycled.”

He said all contributors will have their aluminum cans weighed after drop off, and will be paid $.40 per pound. Last year brought success, but this year Hearst said he wants more.

“Over 31,000 pounds were collected last year, and I am looking forward to over 40,000 pounds this year,” Hearst said.

Many schools in Leon County are engaging in this CANpaign.

Ryan Mitchell, an environmental specialist from the Environmental Safety Department at Florida A&M University, said the Rattlers are definitely involved.

“We will have our own internal competition to collect the most cans between the different organizations on campus,” Mitchell said.

He added that Tallahassee Community College and Florida State University also have their own smaller competitions going on within each school.

LaRae Donnellan, a representative from FAMU’s Green Coalition, said she is excited about this year’s challenge.

“We beat FSU last year, and plan to do so again this year,” Donnellan said.

FAMU’s total collection of aluminum cans last year was 154.6 pounds, and FSU’s total was 13, according to a press release from FAMU’s Green Coalition.

All elementary, middle and high schools in Leon County are also competing to collect cans. The school in each division that brings in the most cans (by weight) will receive $.80 per pound. The winner of the different colleges will also receive double the money for their “CANtribution,” as stated in the release.

This event is established by the United States Conference of Mayors and Novelis Corporation.

Anyone can participate in this challenge. The event will take place on Nov. 8, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The aluminum cans are to be delivered and weighed at the parking lot of Home Depot located at 3200 Capital Circle NE.