Carl Sandberg Elementary Students Turn Trash Into Money

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) – A group of enterprising students are turning trash into money using recycling to make tens of thousands of dollars.

In this era of tightening school budgets, the elementary school students are buying school computers with their garbage earnings.

The principal at Carl Sandberg Elementary admits to being addicted to garbage and apparently her students are too.

“This is pretty much all we focus on. It’s just amazing how much we get,” a student said.

In every classroom there is garbage.

“We have it because we bring it in because we get two cents for this,” the student said.

In every classroom there are individual computers for students.

“We got them from the money we used from recycling here at Sandberg,” another student said.

Students collect garbage all year. There’s an army of collectors in each class, but the garbage guru is the principal, who contracts with companies around the country.

“We bundle the wrappers and we send it to New Jersey and the money comes back to us,” she said.

Last year the garbage brought in $20,000.
If you have a money saving tip that you would like suzanne to check out, call the money saver tipline at (303) 863-tips (8477) or email her at Also visit the money saver section for more stories about saving money for you and your family.

  • Proud Mom

    It is Carl Sandburg (with a “U” in Sandburg).

  • Proud Mom

    Please note, it is Carl Sandburg (with a “U” in Sandburg).

  • Michele King

    I am a science teacher and would like to know more information about turning trash into cash. What is the name of the company you send the trash to get money in return? Do you have contact information that I might get ahold of them to start a similar program at my school?

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