Cody, Wyoming, Valley Elementary School Reclaims First Place in Can Manufacturers Institute’s Recycling Contest

Fifth Annual Great American Can Roundup School Challenge Recycles Nearly 142,000 Pounds of Aluminum Beverage Cans

WASHINGTON, D.C.—May 18, 2015—Cody, Wyoming’s Valley Elementary School has reclaimed first place in the fifth annual Great American Can Roundup (GACR) School Challenge. This one room school, comprised of five students, collected and recycled nearly 11,035 pounds of aluminum beverage cans. This equates to more than 2,200 pounds recycled per student to gain top honors in this year’s challenge. Overall, schools from 36 states recycled nearly 142,000 pounds of aluminum cans.

Sponsored by the Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI), this year’s GACR School Challenge had 38,000 plus students participate in the 2014-2015 challenge, which ran from Nov. 15, 2014 (America Recycles Day) through April 22, 2015 (Earth Day). Over 35 of the competing schools collected 1,000 pounds or more beverage cans.

As the front runner of this year’s challenge, Valley Elementary School will receive $5,000, along with an additional $1,000 prize for coming in first place within their state. The school in each state with the most pounds of aluminum recycled per student will also receive a $1,000 prize for their achievements in recycling.

“I am thankful for the enthusiasm and help from our many Valley School friends and supporters,” said Leah Andren, teacher at Valley Elementary School. “We are amazed at the amount of work, enthusiasm and encouragement the community, school employees, and families have contributed.  This is a great opportunity to learn about recycling, actually do the recycling, and benefitting financially for a worthwhile project that benefits our students' health.  It is a win on so many different levels.”

Last year’s GACR School Challenge winner, Riverton High School Alternative Program in Riverton, WY, came in second place for this year’s challenge. Riverton High School Alternative Program had 22 students work together to recycle more than 16,600 pounds of aluminum beverage cans.

CMI created the GACR to build awareness of the environmental benefits of recycling cans. At 50 cents-per-pound for recycled aluminum cans, competing schools raised nearly $71,000 to put towards school activities, local charities, special causes and community outreaches of their choice. This year’s winner will be able to complete a playground project with the proceeds by installing a new swing set and zip line.

“Congratulations to all of the students who have eagerly participated in this year’s GACR School Challenge,” said CMI President Robert Budway. “The impact in educating our younger generations on the benefits of recycling is evident by these inspiring environmental leaders from communities across the United States. Beverage cans are a unique package in that they are infinitely recyclable and allow the opportunity to conserve resources. Aluminum is a permanent material that can be utilized over and over again through recycling.

More information about the can’s sustainability attributes can be found at


2014- 2015 Great American Can Roundup School Winners by State


Alabama:  Holy Family Regional School, Huntsville

Arizona:  Sonoran Science Academy, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Tucson

Arkansas:  Quest West Middle School of Little Rock, Little Rock

California:  Believe! Manteca/Redwood High School Campus, Stockton

Colorado:  Ann K. Heiman Elementary School, Evans

Georgia:  Midway Middle School, Midway

Hawaii:  Hanalei School, Hanalei

Idaho:  Skyway Elementary School, Coeur d’Alene 

Illinois:  Kidz Korner, Chicago

Indiana:  Forest Ridge Academy, Schererville

Iowa:  Columbus Junior High School, Columbus Junction 

Kansas:  Newton Bible Christian School, Newton

Massachusetts:  Lynch Elementary School, Winchester

Maryland:  Crellin Elementary School, Oakland

Minnesota:  Saint Johns – Saint Andrews School, Melrose

Missouri:  Saint George Catholic School, Hermann

Montana:  Fortine School, Fortine

Nebraska:  Christ Lutheran School, Columbus

New Hampshire:  Epsom Central Elementary School, Epsom

New Jersey:  H & M Potter School, Bayville

New Mexico:  Mescalero Apache School, Mescalero

New York:  Catholic Academy of West Buffalo, Buffalo

North Carolina:  Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School, Rocky Mount

North Dakota:  Kulm Elementary School, Kulm

Ohio:  Buckeye North Elementary School, Brilliant

Oklahoma:  Perkins-Tryon Elementary School, Perkins 

Oregon:  Jesuit High School, Portland

Pennsylvania:  Central High School, Martinsburg

South Carolina:  Taylors Elementary School, Taylors

Tennessee:  Sacred Heart Elementary School, Loretto

Texas:  Fulton 4-5 Learning Center, Rockport

Vermont:  Champlain Elementary School, Burlington

Virginia:  Northern Neck Montessori School, Kilmarnock

Washington:  Lynden Christian High School, Lynden 

Wisconsin:  Saint Paul Lutheran School, Bonduel

Wyoming:  Valley Elementary School, Cody -- National Recycling Champion Winner!

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