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Contest Awards Residents for Recycling

David Scharfenberg
Tuesday May 20, 2003

The nonprofit Ecology Center doled out $2,500 to three unsuspecting Berkeley residents Friday for their recycling prowess. 

Administrators of the Cash for Trash contest rifled through the trash of 20 randomly selected Berkeleyans early Friday morning, awarding $2,000 to a West Berkeley couple and $500 to a North Berkeley senior citizen when they found no recyclable materials in their waste cans. 

“I couldn’t believe it,” said Anne Edwardson, who won the $500 prize. “I thought it was a joke.” 

Edwardson said the check will be “very welcome,” adding that she’ll spend the money on plumbing and other household needs. 

“I do recycle and I do believe in it,” she said. 

Stephanie Turner and Robert Ping, who have a new baby, according to the Ecology Center, won the $2,000 prize. 

“We want to generate excitement about recycling and kind of remind people,” said Matthew Carlstoem, contest manager for the Ecology Center. “We want to have a little fun.” 

The Alameda County Source Reduction and Recycling Board provided a total of $7,500 in prize money, which the Ecology Center hopes to award by the contest’s conclusion June 13. 

The center puts up $250 in prize money every day. If no one wins, the money rolls over to the next day. Friday was day 10 of the contest, and with no previous winners the pool had reached $2,500. 


—David Scharfenberg