GI Habitat for Humanity wins recycling competition

Thanks to donors and volunteers, the Grand Island Area Habitat for Humanity recycled 12,628...
Thanks to donors and volunteers, the Grand Island Area Habitat for Humanity recycled 12,628 pounds in three months, for an income of $4,418.15.(KSNB)
Published: Feb. 24, 2021 at 8:47 PM CST
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On Wednesday, Habitat for Humanity International and Novelis, the world leader in aluminum recycling, announced the winner of their recycling challenge grant. Back in October, an aluminum can recycling challenge went out to U.S. and Canadian Habitat for Humanity affiliates  Only the first 39 to register would be able to compete for $5,000 from Novelis. The grant would go to the affiliate that recycled the most pounds of cans from November through January.

“This is the kind of grant that you have to be in the right place at the right time for,” said Dana Jelinek of Grand Island Area Habitat for Humanity, “I just happened to be looking at the right website at the right time, so registered immediately”.

With a history of recycling aluminum cans as a fundraiser, the local affiliate felt they had a chance to be a strong contender.

“The time of year wasn’t the easiest for us because of the multiple snow events we’ve had”, added Jelinek, “After all, we were competing against affiliates in warmer climates.”

However, the local affiliate had all the infrastructure in place, which was a significant advantage. Drop sites and program volunteers are scattered throughout four counties. That advantage was evident when the numbers were announced this week. Local contributions made up almost 40% of the entire amount contributed to all 39 competing Habitats.

Thanks to donors and volunteers, the Grand Island affiliate recycled 12,628 pounds in three months, for an income of $4,418.15. Included in that was a haul of cans from a donor in Central City, who contributed over 1000 pounds.

Novelis and Habitat International have sought feedback from the competing affiliates before launching an ongoing recycling program. It is still being determined if grants will be awarded in the future, if Novelis will provide bins to help affiliates grow their recycling programs, or if there will be a combination of both.

“Even if you can’t come to a construction site, you can still build a house by recycling your cans,” said Jelinek, “We’re always looking for more Cans for Habitat donors and volunteers.”

Since 2001, Grand Island Area Habitat for Humanity has been recycling aluminum cans. Over the years, funds raised from recycling have helped pay for construction costs on dozens of local homes.

Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit housing organization. Locally, 105 homes have been built and sold to lower-income households at no profit and with no-interest loans.

For more information, call 308-385-5510.

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