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Scrap University, an online training program for scrap processors that is headquartered in Bellingham, Washington, has launched Scrap University Kids as a new division to teach kids about recycling.

“Our goal is to teach kids that all metal is recyclable. In 30 years, we want to eliminate metal from the waste stream,” Scrap University Kids President Jessica Alexanderson says.

As a first initiative, Scrap University Kids released a book, “The Girl Who Recycled 1 Million Cans,” that can be used as an educational tool for young kids. Alexanderson, Brad Rudover, president of Scrap University, and Shaziya Jaffer co-wrote the book.

The book teaches kids about aluminum cans and how to recycle them through the eyes of Ellie, the main character who really wants to buy a unicorn using the money she earns from recycling cans. It also provides lessons on math, financial literacy, perseverance, sharing, teamwork and donation. Alexanderson says she hopes the book will teach kids how to make an impact on the environment and to choose recyclable and reusable materials.

“We wanted to start with cans since all kids know what cans are and they are very easy to recycle if put in the correct bin,” Alexanderson says. “We want them to learn to never throw them in the garbage. We will then segue into other scrap metals in our following classes and books.”  

Alexanderson says Scrap University Kids wants to encourage scrap yard operators to buy copies of this book to give to their local school districts and help to host recycling drives in those districts with the kids and their families. The book is available to purchase online at Kids.ScrapUniversity.com for $24.99.

She adds that Scrap University Kids is working on an online course called Intro to Metals that will feature characters and illustrations from “The Girl Who Recycled 1 Million Cans” that teachers and parents can use to teach elementary school-aged kids about recycling. Additionally, the organization will release a series of children’s books to teach about other metals and to provide a better understanding of how scrap metal is recycled.