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"Empties for Animals" program can turn trash into cash

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Albany/HV: "Empties for Animals" program can turn trash into cash
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As Super Bowl weekend comes to an end, Karen Tararache discovers what you can do with your leftover bottles and cans.

MENANDS, N.Y.-- Executive Director of the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, Brad Shear, said, "We have an incredible group of volunteers who sort out all of these bottles and cans that are here in all kinds of weather, freezing cold, stifling heat, snow, rain, it doesn't matter."

As an organization that receives no funding from local, state or federal government, the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society has found new creative ways to raise money for animal care.

"This has become my home away from home over the past few years," said volunteer Paul Cook.

Led by Cook, a core group of 10 to 20 volunteers can log up to six hours a day sorting bottles.

"We have to do the cans, the plastic and the glass," explains another volunteer.

So if you were wondering what to do with your leftover Super bowl trash, Cook said, "We recycle bottles and cans to the tune of 1.2 million. Last year, we made $96,000 plus for the organization out of a pile of scrap."

The saying that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure couldn't be more true, especially when all of this will turn into money that will help animals in need.

Cook also insists that "If they [bottles and cans] end up in a landfill, they're just going to sit there for 10,000 years, but if you bring them down here, we'll recycle them."

The "Empties for Animals" program helped more than 7,000 animals in 2012. It's numbers like those that make it easy for some to donate.

Erin Recker of Troy said, "I know they do it around the Super Bowl, so we've been saving them up for about a month and we had like four bags to bring in."

"Bring us as much as you can and we will send it all out. We're hoping to break the new record this year, $100,000 plus," beams a hopeful Cook.

And with that kind of cash, future rescue animals like Cook’s dog, Cody, can be properly cared for.

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