With their wedding just over a month away, a couple in Spokane, WA has a special reason to celebrate. Thanks to help from Alcoa and people around the country, Peter Geyer and Andrea Parrish now have the money they need to pay for their wedding – all raised through recycling aluminum cans.
The couple has collected 400,000 cans, worth about $3,800. The last of the aluminum cans – about 73,000 in all -- will be picked up from their home by United Recycling Services on June 24, who donated the remaining number of cans the couple needed to reach their goal.
“We are happy to help Peter and Andrea reach their goal,” said Paul Gauron of United Recycling Services. “Recycling cans is a great marriage of protecting the environment and earning some cash.”
When Peter and Andrea agreed to marry, they knew they needed to raise the money to make their July wedding plans a reality. So they tapped into their desire to protect the environment, and started a campaign to recycle aluminum cans to pay for the ceremony. Alcoa made a big impact on their goal by donating 150,000 – or 4,500 pounds – of cans.
"Alcoa's contribution put us past the halfway mark at the time, and we were just blown away," said Andrea Parrish. "Since then, people around the world have lent a hand and we've met our goal sooner than we had expected. We are so excited about our wedding in July!"
Andrea and Peter say they will continue to collect cans to help pay for their honeymoon, and will donate 60% of what they receive to the charities of Doctors Without Borders and Rim Country Land Institute. And they will continue to advise others on how they can start their own fundraising efforts through recycling aluminum cans.
"This has been a great story on how recycling aluminum cans not only protects the environment, but can be a financial incentive for anyone trying to raise some additional funds – whether you’re a Boy Scout troop, an athletic organization or you’ve just gotten engaged," said Greg Wittbecker, Alcoa’s Director of Recycling. "Alcoa will continue to spread the word on the benefits of recycling."
Aluminum cans are infinitely recyclable and it takes 95% less energy to recycle cans than to make them from new aluminum. The beverage containers can be used, recycled, and back on store shelves in as little as 60 days. In fact, nearly 75 percent of all of the aluminum ever produced since 1888 is still in use today because of the material’s infinite recyclability.