Arizona Town Saves All Their Cans - Habitat Home Built from the Proceeds
YUMA, Ariz., June 27 /PRNewswire/ -- When a group of 80 retirees began meeting every Tuesday to help recycle aluminum cans, they never dreamed their efforts would change anyone's life. But that is just what happened. On Saturday, June 29, the Rodriguez family will move into their Habitat for Humanity home in a Yuma neighborhood because of them. "The aluminum can has been a source of revenue for charitable organizations for decades," Says Brian Sturgell, chairman of the Aluminum Association and president of Alcan Aluminum Corporation. "It is the most recyclable beverage container in the world and you can make money by recycling it. By tossing that empty aluminum can into a recycling bin versus the trash can, everyone can contribute to the efforts of groups like Habitat for Humanity." At first glance the numbers seem daunting. The average Habitat for Humanity house costs approximately $45,000, in Yuma it is $50,000. In the United States the average return per recycled beverage can is one penny (price will vary). This group of volunteers in Yuma has successfully raised more than that amount: $50,000 from aluminum can recycling, and the Rodriguez family are now able to move in to their Habitat home because of them. That means it takes approximately 5 million beverage cans to build a house in Yuma. The Yuma county population is 83,000. With 380 cans per capita, there are 31.5 million cans in the county available to recycle every year, or enough cans to build seven homes a year. All it takes is for caring people to deposit their cans in recycling bins. George Gibson, a grandfather and retired pastor, leads the charge in Yuma. As a life-long recycler, he cares about the environment but also his neighbors. Gibson is the local ringleader of a creative recycling program that is growing nationally in leaps and pounds -- literally every year. The program is called Aluminum Cans Build Habitat for Humanity Homes (ACBHHH) and the goal is to help families across the country move from poverty housing into a simple, decent home built by Habitat for Humanity affiliates. Gibson and his group work tirelessly: meeting every Tuesday at the Habitat warehouse to sort cans and ready them for the Recycling Center. They work closely with countless businesses and schools to engage everyone in their mission. They are negotiators and environmentalists; educators and compassionate citizens and above all, they are an inspiration to fellow retirees, to Habitat affiliates and to families in need. "I am amazed by the tirelessness of these volunteers," says Millard Fuller, founder and president of Habitat for Humanity International. "Every day they are working hard to collect cans to help their neighbors. This is what volunteering for Habitat for Humanity is all about. Hard work, dedication and results! I hope that all Americans take notice and begin recycling for Habitat affiliates in their communities." Since the ACBHHH program began in 1997, 3.8 million pounds of aluminum cans have been recycled by and for Habitat affiliates. Local affiliates, volunteers, recyclers, national and local retail outlets and civic organizations work together to "Make Every Can Count!" For more information on ACBHHH and how you can donate your cans to Habitat, visit the ACBHHH Web site at http://www.cansforhabitat.org or call toll-free at 1-888-798-CANS. MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X47557738
SOURCE Aluminum Association
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