Recycling pays off for St. Francis Catholic School

While many schools collect box tops and soup labels to raise money for their school, St. Francis Catholic School takes the effort many steps farther.

The school is currently in a competition to see how much used ink jet printer cartridges, cellphones, GPS units and graphing calculators they can collect.

St. Francis teacher Sue Fink said she likes to teach students lessons on recycling.

“I’m kind of a green person,” Fink said. “In March, we kept 500 pounds of this stuff from going to the landfill.”

Families from the school and area businesses help out with collecting the items. Fink said they typically receive $3,000 each year from the company which recycles or repurposes these items.

In the past, money raised has gone to school supplies such as calculators for the school’s math team.

In a current competition, St. Francis places fifth nationally among nonprofits and first among schools with 2,176 items collected since February. The competition concludes on April 20 with top finishers receiving extra money for their recycled items and the No. 1 overall finisher getting $5,000.

“To be fifth place in the country, we think that’s pretty good,” Fink said.

Molly Sickles, 11, a sixth grader at the school, said her family collects all sorts of items at home to help St. Francis.

“It helps raise money for the school,” Sickles said.

The public is always welcome to donate these items to help the school. For more information, call the school at 641-753-7977.