Environment

Cans for College

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

An Indiana father says his kids' college education is in the can.

His love of recycling began 28 years ago when Jim Schroeder and his wife saw too many cans littering the streets. "My wife said 'it's a shame people don't do something about that, we should start a club,' and I said 'that's a bad idea, but we'll try it.'"

And that idea soon turned to gold, or aluminum rather, and the can collectors club would earn the Schroeder's thousands of dollars over the next few decades.

The club gained momentum and members, soon more than 100 people, mostly friends and family began to drop cans off at the Schroeder's home each week. "Initially we save money for our kids post high school education."

Money earned from the cans helped put all four Schroeder children through college. And though school is complete, Jim still loads up his car each week and now gives profits to charity. "This past year we hit our second highest total and collected about 47,000 cans."

For Schroeder, it's a fun way to make a little extra cash, and the best part, it's environmentally friendly.

It takes 99% less energy to make these cans from recycled aluminum than it does from raw materials. And if you recycle them, it only takes a few weeks to put these cans back on the shelves.

Aluminum is currently 45-cents a pound. That means about three bags of uncrushed cans will get you a good $10 bucks. So next time you're tossing a can into the garbage, think again, and trade it for cash; or, like, Schroeder, start a can collectors club of your own.



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