Recycling Contest Winner Brings in $17,488 Worth of Empties

CALGARY, Dec. 14 /CNW/ - Participants of an on-campus back-to-school recycling campaign contest collected a total of more than $86,000 worth of empties - or just over 860,000 empty beverage containers that could have potentially ended up in landfills. That number of empties is equivalent to saving or preventing the unnecessary use of over 82,000 litres of crude oil.

Over 45 students from universities and colleges across Alberta participated in the campaign's contest, organized by the Alberta Beverage Container Recycling Corporation (ABCRC) to encourage the recycling of empty beverage containers ("empties"). The contest, which ran from August 31st to October 19th, offered a ski weekend in Lake Louise to the Alberta student or student group with the largest quantity of empties collected and returned to an Alberta Bottle Depot.

"Our industry is working hard to achieve the provincial government's mandate of an 85% return rate for all empty beverage containers by the end of 2011," said Guy West, ABCRC President. "Participation by schools, particularly post-secondary institutions across Alberta will be key to our achieving this goal. The overall response by these students during our campaign demonstrated a positive environmental impact - one that is so important if we are to preserve this great province for generations to come."

Students hosted recycling parties, went door to door, worked with charities and organized themselves in groups. Ten of the participants handed in Bottle Depot receipts with totals of more than 10,000 empties returned or $1,000. The difference between the first and second placed contestants was less than $100. Both contestants were still entering receipt totals online minutes before the contest ended. The winner, Vanessa Maria Pouliot, collected an unbelievable $17,488 worth of empties.

"I've always recycled, so it was really easy to get behind this contest," said Pouliot, a third-year student at Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton. "I think the contest also helped spark a fire within my group of friends, who didn't always recycle before. After collecting so many empty beverage containers I definitely think their behaviour has changed. In the end I also think they feel they actually did something that helped make our province just that much better to live in. Recycling isn't just for some of us to embrace. We all need to take responsibility. "

Aletha Volk, a student at the University of Alberta, won the random draw prize of an Apple MacBook laptop computer, for which all entrants were also eligible.

The contest was part of ABCRC's "Don't Be A Tosser" campaign launched in March of 2009, with TV, radio, newsprint, and a heavy focus on the social media site, The campaign is aimed at encouraging 18- to 25-year-olds to recycle their empty beverage containers.

    Don't Be A Tosser: Some Facts About Your Empties

    -   Glass takes over one million years to decompose in our landfills and
        dumps. For plastics it can take up to 400 years, and for aluminium
        cans it's 80-100 years.
    -   Recycling one aluminium can saves enough energy to run your TV for
        three hours.
    -   3,178 recycled two-litre PET plastic bottles saves one cubic metre of
        landfill space.


ABCRC is a provincially incorporated not-for-profit product stewardship corporation. Their mandate is to be the agent for the beverage manufacturers to operate a common collection system for registered containers, to be responsible for recycling beverage containers, to comply with regulation and BCMB by-laws, and to promote the economic and efficient collection of beverage containers -


For further information: For further information: For more information and photos, please contact: Guy West, President - ABCRC, (403) 264-0170 x233,; Cherie Cohen, VP, Communications & Marketing - ABCRC, (403) 264-0170 x223,

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