Hawaii teen recycles to help students pay for college

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In the beginning, Genshu Price recycled for his own sake — his father said it would be a good way to save money for his college tuition.

"And then I figured I could make it into something bigger and help other Hawaii students instead," said Price, a middle school student from Hau’ula, Hawaii.

So the teen decided to launch the initiative, Bottles4College.

"We want to create a system where at least yearly we can send one to two kids on a fully funded ride to college. So that would take 2 to 4 million cans and bottles," said Price.

With his parents’ help, and on occasion a few volunteers, Price collects hundreds of recyclable donations each week.

Separating and sorting before dropping them off at a local redemption recycling center.

"It’s really just like about hope," he said, explaining Hawaii’s high cost of living and the challenges many faced due to COVID-19.

"I want to give a way for students who may not be able to have like had been able to go to college by themselves."

"There’s just so many things that he’s learning from this experience," said his mother, Maria Price, "so we believe that this is part of his education."

Through many challenges and setbacks due to COVID, the family continued their work with new hopes of expansion.

"One of our goals is to get public drop off depots at every public school in Hawaii,"…"That way every community can come and support," Price said.

So far they have two permanent school drop off locations, with one of them being his own middle school, S.W. King Intermediate School, where they have also held large drop off events.

"We have not collected enough yet," said Price.

"Right now we have over 100,000 cans and bottles collected, which comes to over 5,000 pounds."

But he knows every can counts, "one can and bottle at a time."


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