How Program Leaders Use Recycle Rally Rewards in Their Schools

Your leadership, paired with some green team perks, is just the motivation your school needs.

Author: Staff Writer

Staff Writer

Behind every successful school recycling program stands one key staple—consistent, motivational leadership. Getting creative with Recycle Rally Rewards fosters this kind of motivation. Here are a few inspiring stories from program leaders to help you push your school community’s recycling to reach new heights.


Recycle Rally Rewards enrich green team spirit school-wide.


Teachers celebrating their Recycle Rally and green team shirts


The Recycle Rally Rewards in a nutshell: Schools earn one reward point for every plastic bottle or aluminum can self-reported on the Recycle Rally site. As points grow, students like those at Vernon Middle School in Montclair, California, can cash in for some serious swag. Teacher and ASB advisor, Regina Purcell, says she loves how the reward system is easy to use. “The students provide input as to how they want to spend the points,” Regina says. “We used prizes for recycling rallies and Earth Day events. Whether we are in-person or remote, our school is still able to earn money in the form of gift cards. We purchased medals, trophies, and school supplies!”


Regina also loves that Vernon Middle can earn free recycling bins each year. “Our custodians love those because there are fewer bottles and cans lying around, and now every classroom and hallway have bins.”


Teens wearing PepsiCo Recycle Rally shirts to celebrate their green team


A fun perk for Vernon Middle School students is that they can occasionally ditch their school uniform shirts for Recycle Rally swag! “They love earning their green team and blue PepsiCo Recycling shirts because we allow students to wear the shirts in place of their white uniform shirts,” Regina says. “Teachers love wearing them, as well.”


Recycle Rally Rewards help spread motivation and gratitude.


Recycle Rally Rewards program advocates like Kay Stickdorn are a special gift. At 71, Kay has been a paraprofessional in the New Lexington Schools in Ohio for 30 years. She teaches in a multiple disability and developmental classroom where she helps her students become green-minded citizens. “I grew up with little and was taught to not waste, to reuse, and to recycle,” Kay says. “At that time, that meant taking our glass bottles back to the ice house when we wanted more pop. That concept of keeping things simple has stayed with me, and I share it with them.”


Each month, Kay lists the classrooms that report recycling to her. Then, they are entered to win a Recycle Rally gift card. Every time they report, they have an additional entry. If they win, “that card must be spent for their classroom or a particular need for a student,” she says. From resource books to green team rally pizza parties, everyone gets amped and feels Kay’s appreciation. “Periodically, I’ll present someone with a small recycling bin with candy and a catchphrase,” Kay says. “Think, ‘Recycling is Nothing to Snicker at,” and “I Can’t Think of One Good Riesen Not to Recycle.’ It’s just a little something to show appreciation for their contributions to keeping our earth clean!”


Also, Kay spreads the Recycle Rally reward joy by spending reward gift cards on surprise snack bags for students and committed teachers for Earth Day. “I (recently) presented an elementary teacher with a ‘Schools Out for Summer’ party basket for her classroom,” Kay says. “This teacher is a faithful supporter of our recycling effort.” Clearly, Kay’s dedication to New Lexington’s Recycle Rally efforts is contagious. What an impact!


Recycle Rally rewards pay sustainability forward.


PepsiCo Recycle Rally cans and bins line a school building


First-grade teacher Michelle Pender became the green team program leader at Hanceville Elementary in Alabama to inspire future conservation leaders. “I was drawn to the PepsiCo Recycle Rally program because of how impactful your own program can be,” Michelle says. The rewards program, she thinks, is the gift that keeps on giving.


Michelle says Hanceville’s program has used gift cards bought through rewards to help buy recycling bins and containers and aid transportation costs to get items to recycling centers. “The rewards system is easy to navigate, fuels our continued recycling efforts, and has allowed us to expand,” Michelle says.


Students from Hanceville Elementary School show their Recycle Rally spirit


The drive for more rewards grows the more Hanceville’s green team learns about the impact their making. Michelle says it inspires making smarter sustainability choices around campus, and it’s all just a good ol’ time! “Our Clean Campus Crew meets and picks up litter around our campus too. We used the rewards to get matching (Recycle Rally) shirts. The students and their parents are so proud to wear them!”


How to Earn Recycle Rally Reward Points


Report Recycling! Your team can earn 1 point for every estimated plastic bottle of aluminum can that you’ll log via the self-reporting portal.


We’re thankful for your school’s passion for recycling and a more sustainable school community! These Recycle Rally resources will help you reach your sustainability goals.

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Recycle Rally

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