Wal-Mart Awards Nearly $30,000 to Idaho Schools in Honor of Students' Efforts to Recycle

Editors Note: The Walmart Foundation no longer operates the Kids' Recycling Challenge Program

Company’s plastic bag recycling program encourages local elementary students to help remove over 35 tons of plastic from the local waste stream


BLACKFOOT, Idaho, May 23, 2007 – Through its Kids Recycling Challenge program, Wal-Mart today announced it is awarding $29,980 to 114 Idaho schools for students’ efforts to become responsible stewards of their environment. The company’s Kids Recycling Challenge effort is the largest plastic bag recycling program of its kind ever undertaken.

From last September through March, elementary school students in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming were encouraged to bring plastic retail and grocery bags to their schools for recycling. For each 60-gallon collection bag filled with plastic bags and brought to a local Wal-Mart store, the school was awarded $5.00 from Wal-Mart.

Schools were grouped into geographic regions, and competed against other elementary schools in their region. The ten schools in each region that brought in the most collection bags received additional cash grants from Wal-Mart: $3,000 for first place, $2,000 for second place, $1,000 for third place, and $250 each for fourth through tenth places.

Additionally, the top school in each region will be rewarded with an entertaining and educational school-wide assembly performance, courtesy of Wal-Mart.

Idaho was designated as one region, with schools across the state competing against each other.

“As an active leader in the local communities that our stores serve, Wal-Mart is committed to improving the environment, increasing awareness about recycling, and helping our schools get much-needed funding,” said Kelly Johnson, Manager of Wal-Mart Store #1905 in Blackfoot. “It was a thrill to see the principals, teachers, and parent volunteers come into the store with their cartloads of bags, and we were all surprised to see just how quickly they added up. Many schools have asked us if they can continue bringing in bags even though the current program is over. They have become so accustomed to recycling that earning money for the bags has almost become secondary.”

Idaho region results
Collectively, 114 elementary schools in Idaho participated in the program, filling a total of 4,446 collection bags – weighing 71,144 pounds – and earning $29,982 in the process.

Ridge Crest Elementary in Blackfoot topped all participating Idaho schools by filling 277 60-gallon collection bags (totaling 4,432 pounds). In addition to earning $5.00 per bag, and the $3,000 grand prize, the students of Ridge Crest Elementary will also be rewarded with entertaining assemblies focusing on the environment, courtesy of Wal-Mart. The assemblies will take place today at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Prior to each assembly, a representative from Wal-Mart will present a check for $4,385 to the hard-working students.

“When I asked our principal to do the Wal-Mart Kids Recycling Challenge, he knew I would use the money for something that will help the students develop their skills,” said Anne Lim, Fourth Grade Teacher at Ridge Crest Elementary. “Idaho schools have difficulty keeping up with our needs in technology, so we’ll use the money for classroom computers and software for our new operating systems. Our students need to be congratulated for helping us become number one in the state. My own classroom spent mornings before school and recesses checking the bags before turning them in to Wal-Mart.” 

Rounding out the top ten schools, the big winners in the Idaho region include:

All told, nearly 2,800 schools in 12 states filled more than 131,000 60-gallon collection bags from September 2006 through March 2007, and earned more than $830,000 from Wal-Mart.

A history of success
The Kids Recycling Challenge debuted in February 2005 in Sacramento, Palm Springs, and Salt Lake City, and has since expanded to Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Since its inception, nearly 2,800 schools have enrolled in the program, representing more than one million students. Participating schools have recycled 1,400 tons of plastic bags and have collected nearly $1.2 million from Wal-Mart.

The next Kids Recycling Challenge will run from Fall 2007 through Spring 2008 in the same states. Interested schools are invited to visit www.kidsrecyclingchallenge.com to learn more and to enroll.

About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Every week, millions of customers visit Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam’s Club locations across America or log on to its online store at www.walmart.com.  The company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of giving back locally. Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) is proud to support the causes that are important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods, and last year gave more than $270 million to local communities in the United States.  To learn more, visit www.walmartfacts.com, www.walmartstores.com, or www.walmartfoundation.org.

EDITORS’ NOTES

•    Assembly photos can be found at www.walmartfacts.com.
•    Complete final results of the Kids Recycling Challenge and additional program information can be found at www.kidsrecyclingchallenge.com/media.html.
•    Wal-Mart information online: www.walmartfacts.com; merchandise sales: www.walmart.com.

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