PURCHASE, N.Y. — PepsiCo has chosen three schools as the grand prize winners of the 2012-13 PepsiCo Dream Machine Recycle Rally, a national recycling program and contest designed to encourage students to recycle every day.
H&M Potter Elementary School in Bayville, N.J. (K-5th grade), St. Bede Catholic School in Ingleside, Ill. (K-8th grade) and Westfield High School in Houston, Texas (9th-12th grade) will each receive $25,000 to be used toward "Dream Green School Makeovers." Previous winners have used grand prize funds to purchase energy efficient appliances or construct outdoor learning spaces.
During this year's Recycle Rally contest, each of the winning schools recycled the most PET plastic bottles and aluminum cans in their respective contest brackets, which are determined by school size. These three winners collectively recycled 2.85 million beverage containers — enough to stretch from PepsiCo's corporate headquarters in Westchester County, N.Y., all the way to Washington, D.C., if lined up end to end.
Each grand prize-winning school joined Dream Machine Recycle Rally representatives and notable members of their communities for awards ceremonies this spring, including the check presentation ceremony, which will be hosted at H&M Potter Elementary School in Bayville, N.J. Special guests include Ocean County Freeholder Joseph Vicari, who will share a proclamation from U.S. Congressman Jon Runyan to congratulate the school for collecting more containers than any other school in the contest despite its modest enrollment of fewer than 600 students.
At the Grand Prize celebrations, each school was treated to hear the personal story from one of the 600 graduates from the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with disabilities, which is a beneficiary of this program's charitable donations.
In total, PepsiCo has awarded nearly $200,000 in prizes to dozens of Recycle Rally schools across the country throughout the 2012-2013 school year contest. As a result, PepsiCo has been able to help divert almost 700,000 pounds of aluminum and plastic beverage containers from landfills and turn them back into millions of new beverage containers.
Each winning school rallied not only its students, faculty and administration, but also its surrounding c