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MHS behind entering final round of Recycling Rumble
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• HOW TO DONATE: Items can be dropped off at Manteca High at 450 E. Yosemite Avenue. A pick-up may be arranged by calling 209.858.7358.

• ITEMS: Inkjets, toners, cell phones, iPods, MP3 players, GPS equipment, head phones (not ear buds), and digital cameras. Items do not have to be in working condition.

• DEADLINE: To submit, April 15.

The champ is staggered and in search of a 12th round knockout.

Manteca High faces about a 686-point deficit in the Recycling Rumble with less than two weeks left in the nationwide competition.

Though the chance of defending its crown gets smaller by the day, Michelle Halla isn’t ready to throw in the towel.

The school’s technical support advisor – and the driving force behind Manteca High’s green campaign – knows a late flurry may be all it takes. 

Manteca High has accumulated 2,314 points as of press time on Thursday, second only to the Learning Tree of Brooksville, Fla. Learning Tree has amassed 3,007 points.

A Susan G. Komen affiliate (1,427 points) in Pennsylvania and St. Francis School (1,364) of Marshalltown, Iowa, are a distant third and fourth, respectively. 

The gap, Halla said, may not be as wide as it may seem. 

By her own count, Manteca High has about 600 items yet to be counted by the Funding Factory, the host of this annual fundraiser that pits schools and companies against one another in a bid for the $5,000 grand prize.

“They will be hard to catch,” Halla wrote in an email to the Bulletin and other district employees, “but if every student brought in one item, we could do it.”

Points are awarded based on the number of qualifying items that are shipped (free of charge) to the Funding Factory. Qualifying items include: inkjets, toners, cell phones, iPods, MP3 players, GPS equipment, head phones (not ear buds), and digital cameras. Items do not have to be in working condition.

Manteca has been buoyed by the support of sponsors – off-campus entities, such as the Valley Oak Dental Group, Ink and Toner Direct and City of Manteca Solid Waste Division. 

However, in this 11th hour, Halla has focused her attention on the teachers and students.

There is incentive to recycle. 

For every 10 items, a student receives a ticket for a drawing for an iPad Mini and $25 gift cards for Sports Authority and Fandango. The class that turns in the most items will receive a pizza party and five $10 iTunes gift cards. The runner-up classroom will receive brownies.

Halla will announce the winner of the iPad Mini on April 18, three days after the deadline to submit items. 

“The kids are starting to get into it more. I’m excited about that,” Halla said. “It takes a while for them to get going. But now that they see the chances at winning the iPad Mini are good, they’re getting motivated.”

For information on how to donate, contact 209.858.7358.

“If you have been considering sending us recyclables, we could really use your help,” Halla wrote.

Manteca High won the contest last year with 6,535 items, earning $3,267.50, a 25-percent bonus and an iPad.