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Brock Elliott tops can competition among schools with 519 lbs
Matt Bolan of Manteca Recycling dumps some of the cans collected by Neil Hafley School. Additional photos on Page 2. - photo by HIME ROMERO

When it comes to recycling, the City of Manteca wants kids to know they can.

To that end Manteca Solid Waste Division conducted a Cans4Cash that 16 elementary campuses within the Manteca Unified School District elected to participate in.

The object was to have each school collect as many aluminum cans as they could. They’d receive the redemption money from the cans collected plus the highest school in terms of poundage would receive a bench or picnic table made from recycled plastic.

Recycling coordinator Rexie LeStrange noted it is a good way to get kids to develop a life-long habit of recycling.

“It really does work,” LeStrange said of the hands-on approach to encouraging recycling awareness.

Neil Hafley School came in first with 519 pounds to earn $908.25.

Woodward School was second with 193 pounds for $337.75, Brock Elliott School third with 154 pounds for $269.50, Golden West School was fourth with 81 pounds for $141.75, and Sequoia School was fifth with 70 pounds for $122.50.

The city provided the containers for the cans, picked up the full ones, counted the cans, bagged the cans and took them to the redemption center on Moffat Boulevard that gave the kids a better redemption value than they usually provide customers.

The city has been able to significantly reduce its garbage that needs to be buried through the Toter system and constantly educating people – including children about the need to recycle as well as separate out green waste.

That has allowed the municipal garbage rates to remain unchanged for a number of years.

New state regulations for cleaner burning refuse trucks that impose a deadline for conversions in the next few years will mean the city will have to replace its entire fleet with more expensive cleaner burning garbage trucks ahead of schedule. Part of that estimated $3 million cost is expected to require a rate increase.

The city also has a financial incentive to reduce its solid waste even further in the coming years when space runs out at the landfill north of Manteca on Austin Road. When that happens, it will increase the cost of trucking it to other landfills in the area – assuming there is space to accept Manteca’s garbage – or else shipping it via rail or truck to Nevada.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, e-mail