As part of an ongoing project through a public relations class, several Plattsburgh State students have launched a new campaign with the Ted K. Center, part of the Plattsburgh Housing Authority, which focuses on providing area children safe and educational experiences. The project was announced Feb. 23 during a press conference hosted by the PSUC students at the Ted K. Center.

The “Million Can Redemption Plan” is a “community-wide initiative that aims to better the environment,” according to a press release.

“Recycling one million beverage containers will conserve enough energy to power more than 30 homes for an entire year, prevent the emission of greenhouse gases equivalent to those produced by 14 cars yearly and save 488 tons of landfill space,” the press release said.

Throughout the month of April, in honor of Earth Day, students from more than 50 groups at PSUC will be collecting redeemables from various neighborhoods and businesses.

Not only will this project help the environment, but it will also continue to better the lives of the children who regularly visit the Ted. K Center.

Marissa St.Laurent, a PSUC public relations student who has been involved in this project, said the idea was developed last semester as a way to raise funds for a new vehicle to transport children of the Housing Authority.

Though the project is hoping to collect one million cans and bottles for this purpose, St.Laurent said the monetary goal to purchase a new van would be approximately $20,000.

In order for the project to be successful, cooperation between PSUC and Plattsburgh residents and businesses will be imperative, St.Laurent said.

“This is a really awesome opportunity for everyone involved, and we would really like to get businesses participating,” she said.

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So how will this all work?

While the PSUC groups have already begun collecting redeemables, the project will kick off in April.

Every Saturday and Sunday during that month, the student groups will collect bags of redeemables from residential areas throughout Plattsburgh. Residents will be able to simply leave the bags outside of their homes for the volunteers to pick up. A Neighborhood Sweeps Schedule is available online for residents to check which weekend the volunteers will visit their area.

Residents can also drop off their donations at Northern Cakes Redemption Center and sign a donation form or drop off donations behind the PSUC Fieldhouse by the outdoor track Mondays and Wednesdays between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Local businesses can sign up to have volunteers collect their contributions throughout the month of April in order to have collection boxes supplied to them.

St.Laurent said all the proceeds raised through this project will benefit the Ted K. Center, which will allow the Housing Authority to continue providing children educational, social and recreational opportunities.

The project is being sponsored by Casella, Northern Cakes, Pepsi and TOMRA.

St.Laurent said she felt the practical experience she and her classmates have gained through working with the Ted K. Center has been invaluable in preparing them for the workforce.

PSUC Assistant Director of Student Involvement Michael Cashman said he and the rest of the PSUC community are “very excited to get behind this project” because of the school’s emphasis on experiential learning, service and volunteerism.

“We are encouraging people to get there and do anything they can,” he said.

Email Maggie McVey at news@cardinalpointsonline.com

<a href="http://cardinalpointsonline.com/byline/maggie-mcvey/" rel="tag">Maggie McVey</a>