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One option to raise funds in a “green” and environmentally conscious way is to organize a bottle and can collection drive. Bottle and can collection drives are simple and profitable, and do lots to help the earth while cleaning up your local landscape. Can drives can be run by groups of any age, and teach their members a bit about responsibility in the meantime.

Many states have a refund policy in one form or another and will pay a set amount per bottle or can or pay by the pound for collected and returned containers. Groups should check their state’s guidelines to find out what cans and bottles can be refunded. Basically, all that is needed for a bottle and can collection drive is a collection place, and volunteers to help youngsters collect, sort, and return the collected bottles and cans. Note that recyclables are usually bulky and that volunteers will need larger vehicles to transport them to the recycling center.

Here’s a basic rundown of how the drive works:

  • Before you start your fundraiser, be sure to ask your local recycling center what the requirements are for dropping off the recyclables, like using specific bins or trash bags, specific drop off times etc.
  • Get the word out: post flyers and advertise the upcoming collection in newsletters or local newspapers. Be sure to send out an e-mail if you have a mailing list, and post the information on your group’s website as well.
  • Provide a location for drop off, or place clearly marked collection containers in public places; one suggestion is to cut a can/bottle-sized hole in the center of a piece of plywood and use to top the can or bag so it is more obvious the bin is not to be used for trash
  • After collection, cans will need to be sorted to remove unacceptable bottles and cans before being returned to a redemption center for cash
Tip: Be sure to ask if your recycling center would rather have the cans un-crushed.
Tip: Be sure to ask if your recycling center would rather have the cans un-crushed.

Groups can also collect cans and bottles as part of a roadside, beach or river cleanup effort and do even more for their local environment by cleaning up refuse. Another option that has proven to work very well in many communities is to place collection bins at local dumps and/or recycling centers; people who do not care to redeem bottles and cans themselves can donate bagged items easily when they go to drop off their trash and recyclables.

Bottle and can collection drives are ideal fundraisers for scout troops, sports teams, school or youth groups; bottle and can drives naturally inject a community service element into fundraising efforts, so they are the perfect complement to these groups whose focus is on global and community living and building the consciousness of young people. With the easy organization and fast cash-in, bottle and can collection drives are a way to make the world and your fundraising efforts greener all around.

>> Read about Recycling Ink Cartridges.

>> More Fundraising Ideas.

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