Insight News

Feb 11th

Minneapolis students earning cash for trash

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maltomealSeveral area schools, including Seward Montessori and the Barton Open School, have recently signed up to collect used Malt-O-Meal cereal bags, along with other non-recyclable trash items, as part of one company’s mission to eliminate waste. That company, TerraCycle, pays the schools for their used cereal bags through their free, nationwide program called the ‘Brigades’. TerraCycle then uses waste to make new products, from pencil cases to kites, thus keeping the trash from ending up in a landfill.

The New Jersey based company, TerraCycle, and the Minneapolis-based Malt-O-Meal Cereal Company have partnered in order to create 1,250 Malt-O-Meal Cereal Bag Brigades in elementary and secondary schools across the country. Malt-O-Meal makes over 25 varieties of ready-to-eat cereal including some of the country’s most popular cereals. All Malt-O-Meal cereal varieties can be collected and upcycled by Malt-O-Meal Cereal Bag Brigades. “Bags create 75% less packaging to dispose of than comparable cereal box packaging that includes both a box and an inside bag(1),” said Paul Reppenhagen, Director of Marketing at Malt-O-Meal. “Now, for every Malt-O-Meal cereal bag that is collected and returned to TerraCycle, we can reduce that packaging waste to zero.”

As a member of the new Malt-O-Meal Cereal Bag Brigade, schools like Seward and Barton will functions as a collection site for post-use Malt-O-Meal cereal bags in order to help prevent a significant amount of the packaging waste from going into landfills. There is no cost to the schools to participate with the Brigade and TerraCycle pays for all shipping costs. Additionally, for every Malt-O-Meal cereal bag collected and upcycled through TerraCycle, the schools will receive $.02 per bag as an incentive to encourage collections.

Other schools in Minneapolis that are participating with the program include:

South High School, St. Helena School, Friendship Academy Of Fine Arts, Hope Preschool, Dunwoody Academy, Burroughs Community School, Lake Harriet Community School.

To learn more about TerraCycle or to sign up to sponsor a Malt-O-Meal Cereal Bag Brigade, go to


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