Evanston got trounced by Des Plaines in last fall’s aluminum can recycling competition, but won a prize anyway.

Des Plaines, with a population three-quarters the size of Evanston, recycled 1.12 million pounds of aluminum cans during the competition. nearly 28 times the 40,300 pounds recycled by Evanstonians.

But Keep America Beautiful, Inc., one of the sponsors of the October event, has decided its local affiliate in Evanston ran one of the four most innovative marketing programs for the competition among the more than 50 cities participating nationwide.

Thanks to that, the city will receive a $5,000 prize and the local affiliate, Keep Evanston Beautiful Inc., will receive $2,500 for its programs.

The sponsors say that nationwide the participating communities recycled 5.6 million pounds of aluminium cans during the competition. It takes 34 cans to add up to a pound.

Overall just over half of the 100 billion aluminum beverage cans produced in the country each year are currently recycled. Experts estimate that means nearly a billion dollars worth of cans still go to waste.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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