Center for the Performing Arts candy wrapper collection shatters goal
UNIVERSITY PARK — The Center for the Performing Arts has taken candy wrapper collecting to a new level. As part of a “green” initiative aimed at diverting waste from landfills while providing clean drinking water to people in developing countries, employees of the performing arts center hoped to collect 600 wrappers during the 2011-12 season, but the center has greatly exceeded its goal, collecting 6,420 wrappers.
A TerraCycle program called the Candy Wrapper Brigade awards points for each wrapper collected. The points can then be redeemed for various charitable causes. The original goal would have provided clean water for one year to four people. Collecting more than 6,000 wrappers, however, means that clean water will be made available to 43 people.
“The Center for the Performing Arts Green Team is happy to have so greatly exceeded our original goal,” said Shannon Bishop, a member of the committee that organized the collection. “In doing so, we have not only diverted thousands of wrappers from ending up in our local landfill, but we have also provided clean water to families in developing countries where access to a clean water supply is extremely limited.”
The recycling program proved so successful in its first year that organizers have decided to continue the effort. Green Team members will soon announce their goal and designated beneficiary for 2012-13.
People visiting Eisenhower Auditorium are encouraged to place used candy wrappers in lobby collection boxes. Eligible waste -- from auditorium concession sales or from home and office use -- includes individual candy wrappers, large candy bags and multi-pack candy bags. The auditorium is open weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and during events.
Each year millions of candy wrappers are needlessly thrown away, and most end up in landfills. TerraCycle partners with Mars, Wrigley and Cadbury to create a second life for candy packaging, but all brands of wrappers are accepted for the recycling program. The recycled wrappers are upcycled into various products.
The clean water initiative provides drinking water, through construction of water projects, to people living in poverty who otherwise lack access to the essential element. The charity partners with local organizations in 17 developing countries, mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.