Project needs more materials to offset prices

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Purdy High School students are hoping to receive more recyclable materials to offset falling product prices and sustain scholarship opportunities for the Purdy Recycling Project.

"Cost overruns on our building of about $3,500 are a danger to the project," said Gerry Wass, Purdy Recycling Project sponsor. "At risk is the money we had reserved for scholarships. At this point, these funds must be used to cover the shortfall in funding.

"Prices for recycled materials have fallen dramatically in this economy, and some materials are now nearly worthless," said Wass. "We can only hope to make this up with increased volume and efficiency, which we are prepared to do."

In addition to processing more recyclable materials, students will accept public and private donations. Contributions will be used to cover the funding shortfall and replenish the project's scholarship fund.

"Community support remains strong and is growing," said Wass. "Our customers are as excited as we are about the new building, but they remain a tiny fraction of the potential customer base, probably not more than about 50 families and businesses."

Customers interested in donating recyclable materials to the Purdy Recycling Project can obtain a "How to Prepare Recyclables in Purdy" handout at the new recycling center, which is located on Gabby Gibbons Drive near the baseball field.

Later this year, project members will also publish a book that will include information on starting a recycling project. Publication costs will be paid for using grant money that the project received from Solid Waste District M.

The Purdy High School Spanish Club, which founded the recycling project, received an Outstanding School Recycling Program award from the Missouri Recycling Association last year. The district was recognized for demonstrating the most outstanding long-term, diverse recycling and waste reduction program in the state.

Recyclable materials can be dropped off at the Purdy Recycling Center from 8 to 11 a.m. on the first Saturday of each month. The next community recycling event will be held on March 7. Later this year, the center will also be open after school on weekdays.

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