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Manteca High leaving others green with envy

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POSTED March 26, 2014 2:04 a.m.

Green isn’t just a school color at Manteca High School.

It’s fast becoming a way of life.

The reigning Recycling Rumble champions made a strong case to hold onto the title late last week, jumping from eighth place to the top spot after items were tabulated on Friday.

Under the leadership of Technical Support Assistant Michelle Halla, Manteca High now leads the nationwide recycling contest with 1,920 points, nearly 500 more than the next closest competitor.

“We want to make (the gap) even bigger,” Halla said.

The winner will receive $5,000.

The deadline to submit items is April 15.

Points are awarded to a business or school based on the volume of qualifying items that are turned into the Fund Factory. Qualifying items include: ink cartridges, toner cartridges, cell phones, digital cameras, GPS equipment, MP3 players and iPods.

Items don’t have to work.

The Buffaloes were in eighth place at the start of last week, but didn’t stay there long. By Thursday, Manteca High had rallied into second place with a sponsorship box containing 354 ink cartridges. On Friday, the Buffaloes put some distance between itself and the others on the leaderboard.

Manteca leads a Susan G. Koman affiliate in Pennsylvania by 493 points. The Learning Tree in Brooksvilla, Fla., is third with 1,375 points.

Halla and the staff have built in incentives to get the students involved, but the Buffaloes have received a considerable boost from the community. Sponsorships have catapulted the school up the leaderboard.

Manteca High currently has three sponsors – Ink and Toner Direct, Valley Oak Dental and the City of Manteca Solid Waste Division – but Halla is actively soliciting others.

The school receives two points for every item turned in by a sponsor, as opposed to one point for every item generated on campus.

Halla hinted that Manteca High’s total could see another spike. Several sponsorship boxes have yet to be counted.

“My goal is to keep getting those boxes sent in and checking on sponsors to see how they’re doing,” Halla said. “I know Ink and Toner had four boxes that went out. Valley Oak Dental sent two out that haven’t been counted. I just sent a box.

“My goal is keep getting stuff turned in, because you never know what’s going to happen.”

Those interested in sponsoring the Buffaloes can sign up by visiting Once there, click the “Donate your recyclables” link and use the identification number: 326497. Sponsors can request free prepaid shipping boxes and labels through the website.

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