04/12/05 — Cans to be recycled to build Habitat for Humanity homes

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Cans to be recycled to build Habitat for Humanity homes

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on April 12, 2005 1:45 PM

Don't toss that can -- it could be used to build a home for a family that needs one.

Keep Wayne County Beautiful and Habitat for Humanity of Wayne County are teaming in the new "Cans for Habitat" program, which will collect aluminum cans and sell them with 100 percent of the proceeds going toward a house.

Habitat for Humanity is now accepting contributions at its thrift store on Mulberry Street. It will soon have a large recepticle at its warehouse on John Street.

The agency's group for young volunteers, Youth United for Habitat, will organize aluminum drives, and other groups, such as the Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts, will be asked to do the same. Businesses will also be asked to join in.

"We'd like to build a house a year this way," said store manager Kim Grice. "We'll call it the Can House."

It will take a lot of aluminum to raise the $50,000 needed for construction. At current recycling prices, the program would need to collect more than 4 million discarded soda and beer containers.

But only a small percentage of aluminum is now being recycled in Goldsboro and Wayne County, said Simonne Cato, director of Keep Wayne County Beautiful.

"We do not want to take away from the local governments' efforts," she said. "Instead, we hope to encourage people who are not recycling to begin recycling, if for no other reason than their desire to help a worthy cause such as Habitat for Humanity."

It's important to recycle aluminum because it takes nearly twice as much energy to make new aluminum cans than to recycle aluminum, Mrs. Cato said. Last year, 54 billion aluminum cans were recycled with an energy savings equivalent to 15 billion barrels of crude oil.

North Carolinians throw away more than $20 million dollars in aluminum cans each year, despite a statewide disposal ban on the material.

Aluminum cans can be recycled indefinitely and take as little as 60 days to collect, melt down and make a new can sitting on a grocery shelf.

Cans can be brought to the Habitat for Humanity store during its regular business hours. For more information, people may call 736-9550.