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Recycling Is Like Magic & Can Manufacturers Institute Present

The MILLION CANS Recycling Contest!

Teaching kids to NEVER throw a can in the trash for the rest of their lives!

How many cans can your school recycle?

Learn how rewarding recycling can be!

What: The Million Cans Recycling Contest is a fun contest where schools and scrapyards team up to see which school can recycle the most aluminum cans per student.

Who: 3rd graders will rally their schools and communities to recycle. Each school can pick which grade they would like to lead the way.

When: October 01, 2024 to April 30, 2025

Where: Elementary schools across the USA

Why: Only 45% of cans get recycled in the USA. We need your help to make a difference!

Let’s join forces to recycle one million cans!


  • Students get FREE copies of the book The Girl Who Recycled 1 Million Cans.
  • $10,000 in books and prizes will be awarded!
  • Teach students about the importance of recycling!
  • Help your school, community, and the planet while having fun!
  • Earn money for your school for all the cans you collect! Aluminum is paid for by the pound (35 cans per pound).
  • The more cans you collect, the more money your school will get!


  • Scrapyards drop off a large bin at the school
  • Students and the community fill it up 
  • Schools get to keep the money from the cans they recycle

It's a win-win help our planet and your local school by recycling cans!

Can your school win? Grand prizes will be based on the number of students who got the books divided by the number of cans each school recycles. 

Follow the contest on social media #MillionCans

Congratulations to our winners

‘Million Cans Recycling Contest’ Exceeded Expectations

Congrats to the 8 elementary schools that rocked the MillionCans Recycling Contest! ♻️ Combined they collected more than 1.3 million empty aluminum beverage cans! Special thanks to the amazing CMI members that supported this project We cannot wait to do it again in the fall.

And now, drumroll please! 🥁🎉 The top-3 schools that collected the most cans (per students participating) are…
🏆1st Place: Yankeetown Elementary will receive a $3,000 prize!
🏆2nd Place: Lewisburg Elementary will receive a $1,000 prize!
🏆3rd Place: Rich Pond Elementary will receive a $500 prize!

🌟Let's celebrate their awesome efforts in making such a difference!

The next round will run from October 1, 2024 to April 30, 2025.

The book that sparked a movement

The Girl Who Recycled 1 Million Cans

Did you know that the USA recycles only 45% of cans, even though they're 100% recyclable? Let's turn that number around by teaching kids how they can make a difference!

Meet Ellie, the unicorn-loving, can-recycling superstar who's on a mission to save the planet. When she discovers that she can get money for recycling cans, she sets her sights on collecting one million of them to buy her very own unicorn. But she can't do it alone, so she enlists the help of her friends and the entire school to join in her crusade. Will they succeed? You'll have to read the book to find out!

Meet the AMAZING schools who recycled over
1.3 MILLION cans from Oct 2023 to May 2024!

  • 918 Students
  • 8 Elementary Schools
  • 39,260 LBS of Aluminum
  • 1,374,100 Total Cans Recycled

Click on the schools below to learn more.

La Vega
Rich Pond
Pleasant HILL
Our Mother of Perpetual Help
L.E. Willson
William M. Reeves, Jr.
South Carolina

You are a Recycling Rockstar!

By helping recycle over 1.3 million cans in the Million Cans Recycling Contest, you've made a huge impact. Write your name on this certificate to celebrate your amazing achievement! 🌟♻️

How many cans will you recycle?

Take the can recycling pledge

Students across the USA are solving the recycling crisis by taking the can recycling pledge. They vow to never throw a can in the trash for the rest of their lives. Join us today in making a difference!

Stay safe and have fun!

Ask your community to save cans for your school!

Help your school and our planet by recycling cans! Remember every can counts!

Recycling is like Magic is teaching kids that ALL metal can be recycled and has value at your local scrapyard! Let's save the planet 1 can at a time! 

Formerly Scrap University Kids
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