Dutton family members got more than they bargained for when they walked through the doors of the Reynolds Aluminum recycling center Saturday morning.
Instead of leaving with just the $4 their eight pounds of aluminum cans were worth, the family left with $204. The Duttons brought in the billionth can recycled in Utah and, in honor of the event and Reynolds' 20th anniversary, the family received a $200 bonus.Randy and Ramona Dutton and their children, Randena, Robert, Ryan, Roy and Resa, now have an added incentive to keep collecting cans.
The family said they will use part of the money to celebrate before the children start school on Monday. The family recently moved to Utah from Texas.
Gov. Norm Bangerter was on hand to present the family with the $200 bonus and welcome them to the state. He reminisced with them about his days of collecting aluminum cans with his family.
Utahns have recycled 39 million pounds of aluminum since Reynolds opened its doors in Utah 13 years ago, said Brian Higgins, western region manager.
That is equivalent to 1 billion cans or enough to encircle the Earth 4.1 times. The company has paid consumers $10 million in return.
"About 95 percent of the energy required to make an aluminum can is saved by recycling," Higgins said. He said the 1 billion cans have saved 51,187,500 gallons of gasoline and 253,500,000 kilowatt hours.
"Recycling also reduces the amount of litter and the flow of waste to landfills," he said.
Higgins presented Bangerter with a plaque honoring Utahns for their efforts to protect the environment, conserve natural resources and save energy by recycling cans.