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St. Christina School Earns 3rd Place in National Recycling Contest

Thu May 23, 2013

Read the original story on Patch.com

Students from St. Christina School in Mount Greenwood recycled more than 2,400 pounds of clothing during the month of April to take third prize in USAgain’s seventh annual Earth Month Challenge contest.

St. Christina placed third out of 540 schools nationwide, collecting 2,445 pounds of clothing and shoes, and winning the $500 third prize, which the school intends to use toward their fundraising to put iPads in every classroom.

“This was an effortless program for us,” said Mary Stokes, principal at St. Christina School. “More importantly, it was a great awareness program. Our students know all about recycling paper, plastic, cans and glass, but many ofthem didn’t know textiles could be recycled, too. Notonly did they learn something, but members of our community who participated with them learned more about textile recycling as well.”

Ald. Matt O'Shea also expressed his congratulations with the students. 

“I’m very proud of our local students,” said Alderman Matt O’Shea of the 19th Ward. “Programs like this help educate the young members of our community about how to take better care of our planet. That kind of knowledge is precisely the foundation we hope to build for our community’s future.”

During the month of April, a record 540 schools across the country competed to collect textiles in USAgain drop boxes located at their schools. USAgain, a for‐profit textile recycler based in West Chicago, rewarded the top schools by offering cash prizes of $1,000, $750, $500, $250 and $100.

The goal of the Earth Month Challenge is to raise awareness and educate communities on the importance of textile recycling, as well as giving back to schools for their eco‐friendly recycling efforts. 

"This contest is a great way for schools to engage with students and their communities about the importance of keeping textiles out of landfills, while raising money at the same time," said Mattias Wallander, CEO of USAgain, noting that 85 percent of all unwanted clothing in the U.S., or more than 11 million tons, is thrown into the trash and buried in landfills each year.”

This year participating schools combined to collect 188,650 pounds of textiles, which is the equivalent of 43 full garbage trucks of clothing. That adds up to 1,078 cubic yards of landfill space, more than 264 million gallons of water saved and nearly 1.3 million pounds of CO2 emissions prevented from damaging the environment. All participating schools received a USAgain Certificate of Sustainability for their commitment to recycling and environmental stewardship.