Students recycling to raise funds

School looking to turn empty cartridges into cash

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To Help

For information or to contribute to the recycling program at Steamboat Springs Middle School, call school-based mentor Laura Vermeulen at 871-3551, call Recycle Rewards at 1-888-336-9181, or click the "School Program" link on the Web at: www.rrewards.com.>

— Empty printer cartridges can turn into cash for Steamboat Springs Middle School.

The school's Green Team, a group of students dedicated to promoting and increasing recycling, has begun participation in a nationwide recycling program called Recycle Rewards. When local businesses pledge their empty printer cartridges to the middle school through Recycle Rewards, Inc., the school receives a monetary payment.

AmeriCorps volunteer and school-based mentor Laura Vermeulen is running the program. Partners of Routt County sponsors the local branch of AmeriCorps, a nationwide community service group.

"Any place of business can participate through the Adopt-a-School program," Vermeulen said of the recycling program. "Businesses can pledge their empty laser and inkjet cartridges to our school and we receive cash credits for each cartridge collected. Because the program is designed to be a community-wide effort, we would greatly appreciate your help and support in cartridge collection."

Vermeulen said all funds earned from the program will be used to increase recycling and recycling awareness at the middle school, which is becoming a local leader in reducing waste and reusing materials.

"Our school was recently honored by Yampa Valley Recycles as the School Recycler of the Year," middle school Principal Tim Bishop wrote in his November report to the Steamboat Springs School Board. "The Green Team spearheads this very successful program."

The local AmeriCorps school-based mentoring program places adult mentors in Routt County schools, and first came to Routt County six years ago. Until June of 2005, the program was also a function of the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps. The Teen Programs division of the City of Steamboat Springs' Parks, Recreation and Open Space Department also helps facilitate mentoring activities.

AmeriCorps volunteers started a Green Team recycling program at Hayden Middle School last year.

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