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Recycle aluminum...Why?

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education River Falls,Wisconsin 54022
River Falls Journal
Recycle aluminum...Why?
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

This is the winning elementary level speech that recently took fifth-grade Rocky Branch Elementary School student Graden Gribble to top honors at the state Conservation Speaking Contest.


Graden is the son of Mary and Phil Gribble of the town of Clifton.

"BAM! You slam the door in your sister's face. She just got done trying to make you recycle the aluminum pop can that you just threw away. And all this time you've been thinking, "What's the big deal?"

Well, I'm Graden and today I am going to tell you what the big deal is.

Do you know any facts about aluminum recycling? Well here are a few that are pretty interesting. As I found out on recycling one aluminum can, can power a 100 watt bulb for up to four hours! It will also power a television set for almost three hours!

Also on my field trip last year to the Ellsworth recycling center, I learned that when aluminum cans are recycled they are compacted into large aluminum blocks, the blocks are even taller than me! Imagine how many light bulbs that would light up!

Next, also according to, 2/3 of aluminum ever produced is still in use today and say you recycle one aluminum pop can a day the minute you recycle that pop can it becomes one of 113,204 aluminum pop cans recycled that minute. But here is the problem: This is not enough.

There is a landfill that all of my garbage from River Falls goes to. The landfill is going to fill up in just six years! What are we going to do with all of our garbage in six years?

Well one of the only ways we are going to prevent this problem is to recycle more and more of EVERYTHING that can be recycled.

I want you to picture this: A beautiful day, you are walking down the sidewalk, you see a bird fly over your head. Then you round the corner and you see a landfill, but it's different. This landfill is being filled up. This is what you and I would see if we didn't recycle, but we don't want to see this. We don't want to see our gorgeous landscape fall away to garbage.

So this is how we can prevent this from happening.

One way is by donating your aluminum cans to the River Falls Youth Hockey Association. Then they will bring the cans to a recycling center where they are paid for the cans.

I play hockey at the Wildcat Centre in River Falls and those cans pay for a bunch of the things we need to have to play hockey. For example: Our jerseys.

I personally wouldn't like to play in ripped and torn jerseys. So please, try to bring your aluminum cans to the River Falls Youth Hockey Association.

Another way to solve our problem is if you drink from pop an aluminum can, you can recycle it instead of throwing it away.

Well is this enough to prevent our problem? Technically it is, but I want to tell you what happens after you decide to recycle and aluminum can. Here is where all of the action starts.

A recycling company picks up your aluminum cans that you have decided to recycle. Then the recycling company shreds and melts the cans which turns them into molten aluminum. Next the molten aluminum is hardened into ingot form. Ingots are now made into aluminum sheets.

Lastly the aluminum sheets are formed into new aluminum cans.

What do you know? Recycled aluminum cans can be back on the shelves in as little as 60 days!

So what have we learned? We learned that recycling aluminum is very important for the environment. And if we don't recycle, our beautiful country side will turn into a horrific garbage hole.

We also learned four unique facts of recycling aluminum, which were:

  • #1...According to, recycling one aluminum can can power a 100-watt bulb for four hours, and power a T.V. for almost three.
  • #2...Two-thirds of aluminum ever produced is still in use today.
  • #3...When aluminum cans are recycled they are compacted into large aluminum blocks.

    And lastly #4...113,204 aluminum cans are recycled each minute.

    Which brings me to this: 452,816 aluminum cans were recycled in the time it took me to give you my speech. And sure we recycle a lot of aluminum but we need to recycle more.

    Thank you.

    And remember: Recycle aluminum!"

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