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August 5, 2011 > Ready, Set, Recycle contest crowns Alameda County's best recycler

Ready, Set, Recycle contest crowns Alameda County's best recycler

Submitted By Kate Lynch

StopWaste.Org, the public agency consisting of the Alameda County Waste Management Authority and the Alameda County Source Reduction and Recycling Board, is pleased to announce the grand prize winners of the Ready, Set, Recycle contest, a three month-long recycling initiative that gave Alameda County residents a chance to win cash prizes for having the least amount of recyclable and compostable materials in their trash bins.

The three finalists, selected from Oakland, Hayward and Livermore, participated in a recycling "sort-off" competition on July 25, 2011, for the title of "Alameda County's Best Recycler" and a grand prize of $500. As a testament to the contest's success and participants' recycling skills, the "sort-off" resulted in a tie, with both Kristen Kinzel of Livermore and Amy Lee of Hayward winning $500. Aurell Cater of Oakland was awarded $250 as runner-up.

From April through June, StopWaste.Org's prize crew randomly selected garbage bins on regular garbage collection days and rewarded those residents who correctly separated their recyclables, compostables and trash. Alameda County residents demonstrated widespread enthusiasm for the contest with 20 percent of the county participating and a total of 61 winners more than half of whom demonstrated perfect results (zero percent recyclables and compostables in their garbage bin).

"We already knew that Alameda County residents are some of the best recyclers in the country, with 63 percent reporting they recycle regularly," says Jeff Becerra, Senior Communications Manager at StopWaste.Org, "but the results of the contest proved that more and more residents are eager and efficient recyclers."

Of the 893 sorts conducted, StopWaste.Org found 85 percent of garbage bins contained less than 25 percent recyclables and 55 percent contained less than 25 percent compostables.

The introduction of an annual Ready Set Recycle contest not only encourages residents to form lasting recycling habits but also provides an effective way of helping Alameda County reach its voter-mandated goal of diverting 75 percent of all waste from county landfills. StopWaste.Org has set the more aggressive goal of only 10 percent recyclables and compostables in the garbage bin by 2020.

StopWaste.Org will make Ready Set Recycle an annual event, to be held again next spring because of the program's success and enthusiasm of Alameda County residents, In the meantime, County residents are encouraged to visit www.ReadySetRecycleContest.Org where they can take a recycling pledge and obtain tips and information about how to improve their recycling habits.

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