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 bin 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.
Wal-Mart’s Kids Recycling Challenge is the most successful and innovative plastic bag recycling program of its kind. Approximately 2,800 schools – representing nearly 1.4 million students – participate in the program and have helped to recycle 1,400 tons of plastic bags. As a result of their efforts, to date these schools have earned $1.2 million from Wal-Mart.