Well, they don't service every community yet, but the Abitibi Paper Retriever is a free, community-based program, with approximately 25,000 collection points in North America and the UK which actually pays schools, churches, non-profits and the like for their paper recycling efforts.
It's a far cry from the traditional style of fundraising by selling products via catalog or even online and actually encourages organizations to make better use of their paper supply by diverting it from landfills and into the recycling pail. Ultimately winding up at Abitibi-Consolidated's de-inking facilities and mills where it is used to manufacture 100% recycled content newsprint.
How it works is that Abitibi-Consolidated drops off their yellow and green "Paper Retriever" in highly visible, convenient areas so that people can easily drop off their newspapers, magazines, shopping catalogs and mail. The paper is then weighed by a scale on the collection truck, and a monthly statement detailing the weight of paper collected for that month is accompanied by a check for the amount collected.
In 2006 alone there was over $4 million in U.S. funds paid out to participating organizations, and as anyone who's been an active member of their local school community can tell you there's always something positive that can be done with the extra funds raised through this type of program. Abitibi points out schools have used the funds for scholarships, teaching aides, library books, and field trips. While churches, mosques, synagogues and other non-profit organizations have sponsored missions, landscape beautification projects, their general maintenance efforts and whatever else comes to mind
All told it seems like a great way to get schools involved in your area recycling all that paper they consume. I'll tell you this; if they had the program in my area I'd jump on it tomorrow for my school. And that's saying a lot from a guy who spends a good chunk of his life searching high and low to find out what schools are doing to protect the environment, but is aware enough to realize that no school on earth can get involved with every sharp program no matter how great they all may be.