Augusta Prep hopes can thefts don't kill chances in recycling competition

Augusta Prep fifth-graders pose with cans they had collected during a weekly competition at the school as part of its participation in the Can Manufacturers Institute's Great American Can Roundup contest. Many of the school's cans were stolen during Masters Week. The competition ends Monday.

Augusta Prep students are hoping a recent theft doesn’t can their chances in a recycling competition.

The school, which is participating in an aluminum can recycling contest with state and national cash prizes, lost much of its haul from student collections when thieves stole several bags of flattened beverage cans from a storage site off-campus two weekends ago, according to a memo from Augusta Prep Director of Development Pam Weinberger.

The school is taking part in the Can Manufacturers Institute’s Great American Can Roundup, which pays a $1,000 prize to the top school in each state and $5,000 to the top school in the nation, based on the pounds of aluminum per student.

The stolen cans represented the bulk of a second load destined for a recycling center Monday, the last day of the contest.

“When we last checked the postings for schools in Georgia, we were running in second place for the state, and with that second load might have moved up to first,” Augusta Prep teacher and recycling coordinator Sheila Owen said in an e-mail. “We had a chance of winning at the state level.”

Weinberger’s Furniture has donated a bin of recycled cans, and the school is asking other businesses and residents in the community for help. Cans can be dropped off through Monday at the school’s recycling bin on the campus at 285 Flowing Wells Road in Martinez.

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