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Manteca High aiming to finish Rumble with flurry
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Recycling Rumble’s reigning champion won’t relinquish its title without a fight. 

One year after surging to a first-place victory, distancing itself from businesses and schools across the country, Manteca High has rallied into second position as of press time Thursday. 

The Buffaloes began the week in eighth place.

Recycling Rumble pits schools and businesses against one another in a race to see who can accumulate the most recycling points. Qualifying items include: ink cartridges, toner cartridges, cell phones, digital cameras, GPS equipment, MP3 players and iPods. 

A year ago, Manteca High captured top honors with a flurry of donations at the finish, earning an iPad that the school gifted to a student. 

This time around, the stakes have been raised. The winner of this year’s Recycling Rumble will net a $5,000 prize.

Technical Support Assistant and program coordinator Michelle Halla and the Manteca High staff have provided incentives for the students.

The class that turns in the most recyclable items will be rewarded with a pizza party and five $10 iTunes gift certificates that will be given out at the party. The second-place class will feast on brownies. 

For every 10 qualifying items that a student turns in, they will receive a ticket for a drawing for an iPad mini. The same drawing will include $25 gift certificates for Sports Authority and Fandango. Manteca High will announce the winner of the iPad mini on April 18, three days after its deadline to turn in items.

“The incentive is there. I’ve been trying to go around to classrooms to talk it up, telling (the students) all about it,” Halla said. “I try to give them ideas. Take it home. Talk to your parents; ask them if they have this stuff lying around. This kind of stuff can’t be thrown in the trash.”

Manteca High will need more than its students’ help, though, to leap-frog Susan G. Komen affiliate in Etters, Penn., in the final weeks. Susan G. Komen tops the list with 1,425 points, 81 more than Manteca High. St. Francis School of Marshalltown, Iowa, is in third with 1,170 points.

A year ago, Manteca High’s campaign was boosted by contributors from the community at-large. To make up its current deficit, Halla has again reached out to local businesses and community members.

Manteca High earns two points for every item a sponsor turns in, and one point for every two items generated on campus. 

One sponsorship box containing 345 ink cartridges helped Manteca jump from eighth place to second, netting the school 690 points.

Manteca High currently has three sponsors, including Ink and Toner Direct, Valley Oak Dental Group and the City of Manteca Solid Waste Division. But realizing the quick-change impact a sponsorship box can have on the standings, Hall is seeking at least one more. 

Those interested can sign up at by clicking on “Donate your recyclables” and using the Manteca High’s identification number: 326497. Sponsors can request free prepaid shipping boxes or labels for their boxes through the website. 

“One box shot us from eighth to second,” Halla said. “So it’s huge. I don’t think we would win it without sponsors.”

Items can also be dropped off at the high school Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Halla lauded the community’s support following last year’s victory.

Manteca High won the national contest with 6,535 recyclable items, earning $3,267.50, a 25-percent bonus and an iPad. A portion of the cash reward was used to the restock the teacher’s store.