PURCHASE, N.Y. — PepsiCo has chosen three schools as the grand prize winners of the 2012-13 PepsiCo Dream Machine Recycle Rally, a national recycling program and contest designed to encourage students to recycle every day.
H&M Potter Elementary School in Bayville, N.J. (K-5th grade), St. Bede Catholic School in Ingleside, Ill. (K-8th grade) and Westfield High School in Houston, Texas (9th-12th grade) will each receive $25,000 to be used toward "Dream Green School Makeovers." Previous winners have used grand prize funds to purchase energy efficient appliances or construct outdoor learning spaces.
During this year's Recycle Rally contest, each of the winning schools recycled the most PET plastic bottles and aluminum cans in their respective contest brackets, which are determined by school size. These three winners collectively recycled 2.85 million beverage containers — enough to stretch from PepsiCo's corporate headquarters in Westchester County, N.Y., all the way to Washington, D.C., if lined up end to end.
Each grand prize-winning school joined Dream Machine Recycle Rally representatives and notable members of their communities for awards ceremonies this spring, including the check presentation ceremony, which will be hosted at H&M Potter Elementary School in Bayville, N.J. Special guests include Ocean County Freeholder Joseph Vicari, who will share a proclamation from U.S. Congressman Jon Runyan to congratulate the school for collecting more containers than any other school in the contest despite its modest enrollment of fewer than 600 students.
At the Grand Prize celebrations, each school was treated to hear the personal story from one of the 600 graduates from the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with disabilities, which is a beneficiary of this program's charitable donations.
In total, PepsiCo has awarded nearly $200,000 in prizes to dozens of Recycle Rally schools across the country throughout the 2012-2013 school year contest. As a result, PepsiCo has been able to help divert almost 700,000 pounds of aluminum and plastic beverage containers from landfills and turn them back into millions of new beverage containers.
Each winning school rallied not only its students, faculty and administration, but also its surrounding communities to support the program and encourage everyone to protect the environment. Their methods included recycling drives, community drop-offs and competitions to educate and engage individuals and breathe vitality into Recycle Rally communities.
"PepsiCo promotes environmental sustainability throughout all aspects of our business, and we're committed to finding innovative ways to cut costs and minimize our impact on the environment through energy and water conservation and reduction of packaging volume," said Tom Mooradian, Recycle Rally program manager. "Recycling is an important part of PepsiCo's overall environmental sustainability efforts, and we continue to be impressed by the passion and commitment of everyone who participates in the Dream Machine Recycle Rally. This year's winners not only worked tirelessly to help keep our earth clean, but also to raise awareness amongst students about the importance of recycling and hopefully creating lifelong recyclers in the process."
Dream Machine Recycle Rally is a nationwide school recycling program designed to raise awareness among students, grades K-12, about the importance of recycling and encourage them to make recycling part of their everyday lives. The Dream Machine Recycle Rally is part of the broader Dream Machine Recycling Initiative.