School to Earn Money from Cartridge Recycling

Holy Rosary Elementary School has taken a different approach to recycling.

The school has a program where old ink cartridges and cell phones are recycled in exchange for money to help towards electronic school supplies.

The school’s computer teacher Melissa Skutack collects the items through the students and sends them to a company called FundingFactory.

“The children and their parents will drop off cell phones, ink cartridges and, when I get enough to fill the box, I mail it back to (FundingFactory) and they give us credit on our account,” said Skutack. “We get about a couple hundred dollars every year and one year we bought cameras for the classrooms and another year we purchased a laptop. We purchase our ink and it’s a lot of things the school benefits from. A lot of parents, including one that works in a law office, bring the ink cartridges in.”

According to the FundingFactory’s company website, since 1997, schools, charities, churches, community groups and clubs in the continental United States have collectively earned more than $35 million in cash and rewards through FundingFactory’s 100 percent free fundraising-through-recycling program.

FundingFactory and its participants have made a notable impact on the environment by keeping 31 million pounds of cartridges and small electronics out of landfills, simply by collecting used inkjet and toner cartridges, cell phones, MP3 players, digital cameras, GPS devices, headsets and laptops.

Skutack, in her eighth year teaching at the school, is not sure how long the school has been recycling cell phones and ink cartridges through FundingFactory, but the program has been going on as long as she’s been at the school.

Skutack said about 10 boxes of items are recycled throughout the school, with anywhere between 100 and 150 ink cartridges and about 20 cell phones being donated.

“We don’t get a lot of phones,” she said. “Our biggest is the larger ink cartridges that bigger companies go through.”

The recycling of the cartridges and phones does not stop when the school year end. Skutack said people can still drop off items to be recycled, but only during school hours between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

With the school year still a bit fresh, Skutack said there is nothing on her mind in terms of what to purchase with the recycling credits this year. She will keep her eyes open for anything, but will most likely use the money to purchase more ink for the school’s printers.

“We don’t need anything right now,” she said. “If anything, we’ll use the money to buy more ink for the larger printers because of how expensive they are.”

(Source: Civitas Media)

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