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June 2007

Wal-Mart awards $105,000 to Arkansas schools

Through its Kids Recycling Challenge program, Wal-Mart is awarding $105,225 to 306 Arkansas schools for students’ efforts to become responsible stewards of their environment. The company’s Kids Recycling Challenge effort is the largest plastic bag recycling program of its kind ever undertaken.

From last September through March, elementary school students in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming were encouraged to bring plastic retail and grocery bags to their schools for recycling. For each 60-gallon collection bag filled with plastic bags and brought to a local Wal-Mart store, the school was awarded $5.00 from Wal-Mart.

Schools were grouped into geographic regions, and competed against other elementary schools in their region. The ten schools in each region that brought in the most collection bags received additional cash grants from Wal- Mart: $3,000 for first place, $2,000 for second place, $1,000 for third place, and $250 each for fourth through tenth places.

Arkansas was designated as one region, with schools across the state competing against each other.

Collectively, 306 elementary schools in Arkansas participated in the program, filling a total of 19,495 collection bags - weighing 311,920 pounds - and earning $105,225 in the process.

Mansfield Elementary in Mansfield topped all participating Arkansas schools by filling 869 60-gallon collection bags (totaling 13,904 pounds).

Other top schools in the state include Cook Elementary in Fort Smith (second place with 555 collection bags), and Shirley Elementary in Shirley (third place with 492 collection bags). In addition to receiving $5.00 per collection bag, these schools will be awarded additional cash grants from Wal-Mart in the amounts of $2,000 and $1,000, respectively.

All told, nearly 2,800 schools in 12 states filled more than 131,000 60-gallon collection bags from September 2006 through March 2007, and earned more than $830,000 from Wal-Mart.

Since its inception, nearly 2,800 schools have enrolled in the recycling program, representing more than one million students. Participating schools have recycled 1,400 tons of plastic bags and have collected nearly $1.2 million from Wal-Mart.

The next Kids Recycling Challenge will run from Fall 2007 through Spring 2008.

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