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May 6, 2014

MADISON - In 2014, Wisconsin students kept more than 8,000 pounds of recyclable plastic bags and film out of landfills by working together and harnessing the power of school pride.

As part of the statewide Wrap Recycling Action Program, or WRAP, the Department of Natural Resources encouraged schools to take the annual Plastic Film Recycling Challenge. The challenge, hosted by the Trex Company, lets schools compete to see which one can collect the most recyclable plastic film.

The material - including grocery and other retail bags, case overwrap and stretchy plastic packaging - is recycled to make wood-composite for porches, decks and other construction projects. This year 19 Wisconsin schools participated.

More on plastic film recycling and the WRAP initiative can be found by visiting the DNR website and searching for "plastic film."

Spurred on by WRAP, efforts began in the city of Milwaukee last fall. The city served as a pilot site for building statewide plastic film recycling awareness. By engaging students of all ages and schools of all sizes, the challenge encourages young people to learn about the benefits of recycling plastic materials and rewards them for their participation.

In Milwaukee alone, participating schools collected more than 7,300 pounds of recyclable plastic film. The most plastic film in pounds was collected at Bruce Guadalupe Community School, while Hawley Environmental School and St. Sebastian School were close runners-up. In the statewide challenge, participating schools collected more than 1,300 pounds. The most film in pounds was collected at Nuestro Mundo Community School in Monona.

"It's been our most successful year yet and it's all thanks to the schools!" said Stephanie Hicks, Trex Materials Resource coordinator.

All participating schools in 2014 won a birdhouse made from Trex products to reward their efforts. Hawley Environmental and Northeast Wisconsin Montessori each received a Trex Company bench for having recorded the highest amount of pounds per student in their respective zones.

Milwaukee participants in 2014 included Bruce Guadalupe Community School, Craig Montessori School, Doerfler Elementary, Hawley Environmental School, Humboldt Park School, H.W. Longfellow School, MacDowell Montessori School, Milwaukee Environmental Sciences, Milwaukee Parkside, Rogers St. Academy, Ronald Reagan IB High School, Rufus King High School, St. Sebastian School and Starms Early Childhood.

Statewide participating schools included Albany Elementary in Albany, Northeast Wisconsin Montessori in Cleveland, Nuestro Mundo Community School in Monona and Lake View Elementary and Madison Elementary in Madison.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Elisabeth Olson, 608-264-9258

Last Revised: Tuesday, May 06, 2014

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