U.S. Air Force Academy Seizes First Place in the Great American Can Roundup

From left to right:  Midshipman First Class Jodi Cull-Host, Midshipman Second Class Jeanelle Seals, Cadet First Class Bailee Harnett, Cadet Second Class Madison Martin, Midshipman Second Class Alyssa Whyte


Third Annual Commander-in-Chief’s Challenge Recycles More Than 40,600 Aluminum Cans

WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 20, 2016 – Today, the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) was honored `at The Pentagon for seizing first place in the Great American Can Roundup’s (GACR) Commander-in-Chief’s Challenge with 4,050 cadets recycling 20,300 aluminum beverage cans; half of the total amount recycled in the challenge.

The USAFA competed in the 2015-2016 GACR Challenge with the U.S. Coast Guard Academy (USCGA), and the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA).

Maureen Sullivan, - the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Environment, Safety, and Occupational Health), Office of the Secretary of Defense, along with Robert Budway, president, Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI), presented the winning trophy and $3,000 to the USAFA.

The USNA and USCGA recycled around 18,000 and 2,300 aluminum beverage cans during this year’s challenge, respectively. In the Intra-Academy competition, USCGA’s Foxtrot Company and USNA’s 5th Company, 1st Battalion bested all other companies. Representing the USNA at the award ceremony were Midshipmen, Jodi Cull-Host, Jeanelle Seals, and Alyssa Whyte.  

The USAFA top squadron, Squadron 15, also received top honors in the Intra-Academy competition and received a $500 check and commemorative tray. Accepting the award are Cadets Bailee Harnett and Madison Martin and Major Martin Poon.

"This competition is a great opportunity for our future leaders to work towards incorporating sustainability into their day to day operations,” said Sullivan.  The cadets and midshipmen commitment demonstrates their understanding that sustainability and protecting of our environment is a core value of the Department of Defense. "

“CMI is thrilled with the example these young men and women of our nation’s military academies are setting through their environmentally responsible recycling activities,” said Budway. “The aluminum beverage can is endlessly recyclable, so in a world that is increasingly concerned about scarce resources, aluminum cans have the ability to be recycled over and over, without losing their strength or quality.”

"I'm very proud of our service-minded Cadets who embody our Air Force core values. Their energetic efforts led to us earning this noteworthy recognition," said U.S. Air Force Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle D. Johnson. "Environmentally-focused management of our land and resources is always a top priority and we are delighted that our cadets share this same level of commitment to environmentally-conscious leadership."

Sponsored by CMI, the GACR spreads awareness of the environmental benefits of recycling aluminum cans. The third annual challenge ran from Nov. 15, 2015, (America Recycles Day) through March 15, 2016, with more than 40,600 cans recycled.

The CMI GACR initiative promotes and engages community recycling involvement, sponsors recycling events and distributes educational materials on the importance of environmental stewardship.  Other challenges engage schools, scouts and the industry in working to encourage communities in recycling activities.

For more information about the can’s sustainability attributes, visit

For more information about the Great American Can Roundup, visit



≪ Back to News