If you'd like to protect the environment while also helping animal-shelter pets, Pennsylvania Resources Council is sponsoring a recycling program that is right up your alley.
In November, the group started a two-year program called Cans for Pets with a goal of recycling 20,000 pet food cans by November 2014. For every can donated, the Animal Rescue League in East Liberty will get a nickel.
Dave Mazza, executive director of the PRC, says the program is already starting to pay dividends. As of Dec. 31, it had collected 6,500 cans.
This week, "we'll be presenting the Animal Rescue League with a $325 check from the cans we've gathered so far," Mazza tells City Paper. "They told us that equated to 40 cases of pet food for the shelter's animals. The Animal Rescue League has been helping animals in this area for what seems like forever. They take in any animal that needs help and a place to stay. They do a lot of great work and this is a great way to help them out."
The Animal Rescue has been on a bit of a roll recently. Last year the open door shelter — which means it takes in any animal needing a place to stay — won $30,000 in a contest sponsored by Rachael Ray and the ASPCA.
According to Mazza, pet-food cans are recycled far less often than regular aluminum beverage cans. The recycling rate for beverage cans is about 65 percent, while the rate of pet food can recycling is only about 25 percent.
Mazza surmises that the disparity may stem from the fact that pet-food cans look different than regular recyclables, and it can take a little extra effort to make sure they are cleaned out.
But Mazza says the cans are 100 percent recyclable — a fact the Cans for Pets drive will make people aware of while helping out shelter pets at the same time.
"This is a great project for us because typically when we are out promoting recycling, we’re asking people to do something good for environment," says Mazza. "That's very important, but it's not as glamorous as helping our homeless pets. People are very passionate about animals and this allows us to call attention to the importance of re-using our natural resources while at the same time benefiting our local shelter animals."
While the goal is 20,000 cans, Mazza says the PRC will collect cans until November 2014 meaning the ARL could receive more than the $1,000 that would come from 20,000 cans. "We're already outpacing that goal," he says. "I think we're going to far exceed 20,000 cans." The program is funded by the ALCOA Foundation.
Cans may be dropped off at the following locations:
ANIMAL RESCUE LEAGUE
6620 Hamilton Avenue, Pittsburgh, A 15206
Hours: Sat., Sun., Mon: 8:30 a.m. — 5 p.m.
Tues-Fri: 8:30 a.m. — 7:30 p.m.
ANIMAL RESCUE LEAGUE WILDLIFE CENTER
6000 Verona Road, Verona, PA 15147
Hours: Daily 8 a.m. — 4 p.m.
(412) 345-7300 x500
THE DOG STOP
2858 Banksville Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15216
Hours: Mon.-Fri: 6:30 a.m. — 7 p.m.
Sat. & Sun: 10 a.m. — 4 p.m.
PENNSYLVANIA RESOURCES COUNCIL
64 S. 14th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203 (South Side off Carson St)
Hours: Mon-Fri: 9 a.m. — 5 p.m.
(412) 488-7490 ext. 246