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Thursday, June 3, 2010 01:58 am

SCHOOLS ARE CEREAL SAVERS

You’ve probably seen them in the cereal aisle at the grocery store: bags of bargain cereal with one-off names like Cinnamon Toasters, Apple Zings and Honey Nut Scooters. The titan of bagged cereals, the Minneapolis, Minn.-based Malt-O-Meal, has found a niche in offering cereals almost identical to name-brand products from General Mills, Kellogg’s, Post and Quaker Oats at a reduced price. But where do all those cereal bags go once their sweet contents are consumed?

As it turns out, nine Springfield schools collect the bags for recycling – and they make a little cash for their efforts. The Malt-O-Meal Cereal Bag Brigade is a schools-only program sponsored by Malt-O-Meal and run by TerraCycle, a New Jersey-based start-up that pays a pittance for recyclable trash and makes it into new products like kites, durable totes and even fences.

So far this school year, Springfield’s Lee Elementary School has sent 7,000 pieces of waste to TerraCycle, earning the school $140. Trinity Lutheran School in Springfield has collected 9,000 pieces of waste and earned $180. In total, TerraCycle has recycled about 1.3 million pieces of waste from Illinois, and more than $25,234 has been paid to Illinois schools and other charities. For more information, visit www.TerraCycle.net.
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