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Published April 2010

Recycling fundraisers have their pros and cons

By Kristen Miller

Churches, schools, and organizations are moving toward recycling as a top fundraiser, though exactly how successful they are depends on an unstable market for products like aluminum and paper.

When the Dassel Rod and Gun Club began “Cans for Wildlife” about nine years age, the organization raised about $500 a month, according to Dean Winter, member and past president.

Though “still very worthwhile,” aluminum prices have gone down, along with contributions.

With more and more organizations using recycling as fundraisers, people have more to choose from when it comes to donating, Winter said.

The organization now makes about $200 a month from collecting cans, which is then designated for wildlife conservation groups and providing corn for people to feed wildlife, such as Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, Minnesota Deer Hunters Association, and the Crow River Cutters, a chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation.

Karen Erickson is the prom advisor for Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted High School and coordinates the paper recycling drives that take place twice a year. The proceeds from the paper drives help deter the cost of prom.

“It’s more of a service than a fundraiser,” Erickson said, explaining the students in the junior class help by loading donations into the semi trailers.

They have even gone to pick up paper from people who have collected paper, but couldn’t drop the donations off.

With paper prices on the decline, paper drives had once been more successful. During the first paper drive, $800 was generated. Only $259 was raised during the paper drive last fall, according to Erickson.

Whether a big money-maker or not, it’s still good for the environment and an outlet for people to recycle large quantities of paper.

“And it’s $259 more than what we had,” Erickson added.

Holy Trinity in Winsted, however, tends to have very successful paper drives, with the most recent collecting two full semi-trailers, said Bill Tschida, high school principal.

Since the junior class is responsible for paying for the prom, this year’s sophomore class has already begun raising money.

Though the school can depend on community support, the value of paper fluctuates. Though the total amount raised had yet to be evaluated as of presstime, the February prices were $60 per ton of paper, and $80 per ton of cardboard, according to Kim Anderson, sophomore class advisor.

For fundraising options, contact your local recycling center for details.

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