Recycle Rally FAQ: How It Works, How to Participate, and More

Everything you need to know about Recycle Rally.


Got a question about how PepsiCo Recycle Rally works? We’ve got answers! Take a look at this Recycle Rally FAQ to learn everything you need to know.


Recycle Rally FAQ Table of Contents


About Recycle Rally

How It Works

Participation Paths

What to Expect

Becoming a Recycle Rally Participant

About Recycle Rally


In this section of the Recycle Rally FAQ, learn what the program is, why it’s important, and how schools benefit.


What is Recycle Rally?

Recycle Rally is a free nationwide school recycling program designed specifically for K-12 schools. It provides access to a vast array of downloadable resources and valuable incentives. We want to inspire K-12 students and their surrounding communities to become proud and frequent recyclers.


Recycle Rally offers schools the opportunity to set recycling goals and track progress. Schools earn reward points for each estimated plastic bottle and aluminum can recycled. Participants can redeem reward points for useful supplies or gift cards to help the school. Recycle Rally also hosts contests and promotions that offer opportunities to win additional prizes for encouraging and increasing recycling.


Why is PepsiCo interested in recycling?

As a global company behind some of the world’s most popular beverage brands, we believe that effective recycling is essential to the future of our planet and our business. That’s why we’re committed to doing our part to make recycling work and advancing our vision of a world where plastic need never become waste. Our approach is based on three interconnected strategies: reducing the amount of plastic that we use, recycling more plastic to support a circular economy, and reinventing the plastic packaging we use.


What is the PepsiCo Recycling Initiative?

Ten years ago, a dedicated team called PepsiCo Recycling set out to understand how to improve recycling. Since then, through our programs and partnerships, we’ve learned what it will take to transform recycling for good: reinventing the current collection and processing systems, engaging every consumer in the country through programs such as event recycling, on-the-go recycling and the Recycle Rally program, and converting collected material back into bottles.


Recycle Rally is an important PepsiCo Recycling program designed for K-12 schools. PepsiCo recognizes that its vision of a world where plastics need never become waste can only be achieved by getting more people involved. By educating and inspiring our youth through Recycle Rally, PepsiCo Recycling believes the next generation can help make significant progress toward our goal of making recycling a habit and a priority in more families and communities across the nation.


How will my school benefit from participating in the Recycle Rally program?

As a Recycle Rally participant, you’ll become a part of a growing network of schools to help engage students and staff in recycling, and you’ll have the opportunity to do the following:

  • Earn reward points as you report the recycling of eligible beverage containers through your online account and redeem those points for gift cards to help your school or fun merchandise and rewards to keep your students motivated.
  • Take advantage of contests and promotions to engage various types of students through optional projects that recognize and reward creativity, ingenuity, community service, leadership, and results.
  • Gain access to lesson plans, videos, and fun activities that can help tie students’ real-world experience with recycling into the classroom learning environment.
  • Set goals and track your school’s recycling activity in fun, engaging ways that can build pride throughout your whole community.

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How it Works


Take a look at this section of the Recycle Rally FAQ for info on what, how, and why to recycle.


What types of materials should we recycle through this program?

We encourage you to recycle everything that is recyclable through your recycling provider(s), but our programming and rewards have been based specifically upon recycling beverage containers made of Plastic #1—PET / PETE, Plastic #2—HDPE, and aluminum.


Our Accepted Materials Guide provides more details about how to identify the materials that may be tallied in your Recycle Rally account. Schools in all states, regardless of if there is a deposit/refund system for bottles and/or cans, can track recycling activity for those materials through our program and earn reward points for it.


Does my school need to pay in order to participate?

There are no fees to participate in Recycle Rally. However, as a participant, your school may incur some basic costs associated with recycling, including contracts with a recycling service provider or third party who hauls the materials to a recycling facility. You may also find that your school chooses to spend some funds on supplies to aid with collection, or printing of posters, flyers, and letters to make sure everyone knows your plans and goals.


Will my school receive any supplies through this program?

When we accept your application, we’ll set you up with a unique online account on our website. Use this account to manage your school’s recycling program. Plus,  you can access free resources to help build awareness and excitement in your school.


Welcome Kit

Your welcome email provides a Getting Started Guide with instructions to help you access your account. While supplies last, you may also receive a Welcome Kit with Recycle Rally posters, magnet(s), stickers, or other supplies.


Incentive Opportunities

From time to time. Recycle Rally may offer special opportunities for your school to earn free recycling bins or other related supplies. We’ll announce these through email or mail. They’ll be available for a limited time, as specified in the promotion announcement.


Points Rewards

Report recycling activity into your account to earn reward points for each eligible beverage container. Redeem points for supplies such as recycling bins, bags, or gloves, or reward items, such as t-shirts, or gift cards. Contests and promotions also offer opportunities to win cash and/or gift cards on behalf of your school.


How do we earn reward points?

Earning reward points is as simple as 1, 2, 3:

  1. Tally your recycling totals.
    • Universal League schools use the mixed bag count tally method. Count the number of bins or bags of bottles and cans you recycled, the approximate size of those bins or bags, and the approximate mix of materials within those bins or bags.
    • Challenge League schools use the weighing tally method. Weigh bags of bottles and cans using the Recycle Rally program scale. Record the weight to the nearest 1/10th of a pound.
  2. Log in to your PepsiCo Recycling account.
  3. Visit the ‘Report Recycling’ tab on our website. Tell us enough about the contents of your bags. We’ll calculate the approximate number of eligible recycled bottles and cans. Then we’ll award one reward point for each estimated bottle or can that you report in your account.

Point Maximums

Universal League schools may earn up to a maximum of 500,000 rewards points during the school year. The points will expire in any accounts that are inactive (i.e., do not report any recycling) for 12 consecutive months.


Challenge League participants may earn up to a maximum of 5,000,000 reward points during the school year but are subject to auditing to verify their recycling totals. This may result in freezing their accounts or adjusting reward point totals at any time at the discretion of PepsiCo Recycling administrators.


See How to Earn Reward Points for more details.


Where can I access the resources, tools, and lesson plans?

Click here to visit our Resource Library.


Does Recycle Rally pick up materials?

Most applicants already have contracts or relationships with a recycling hauler or recycling center that handles the eligible materials, so we encourage new participants to utilize your existing local infrastructure to recycle bottles and cans.


Since participants may utilize a wide variety of recycling service providers across the country, be sure to check with your local recycling service provider and plan to comply with their sortation and delivery requirements.


Get Help With Setting Up Recycling

For schools that do not already have access to a recycling service, we encourage you to take advantage of our Recycling Service Toolkit to help find the best opportunity locally. Our support team is always available to assist if questions come up during your search for a recycling hauler.


In some very limited circumstances where PepsiCo Recycling has the necessary infrastructure in place and/or established relationships with recycling haulers, we may be able to coordinate the direct pick up of bottles and cans from your school to recycle them. This service is offered only where available and at the sole discretion of PepsiCo Recycling.


Is it okay to team up with other school(s) or organization(s) to support our participation in this program?

Yes, as long as the other school is not also enrolled in Recycle Rally. You can enlist the support of other schools, clubs, or organizations to help your school get the most out of this program. We do not allow two or more participating schools to share recycling totals with one another. (That could compromise the integrity of our Rewards Program.)


If your school organizes an event and/or partnership to collect and recycle bottles and cans from offsite events, we do not require you to bring the materials back to the school. However, you must verify that materials will indeed be recycled before you report them in your online account.


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Participation Paths


Want to know more about the Universal and Challenge Leagues? This section of the Recycle Rally FAQ is for you.


Why are there two different modes of participation (i.e., Universal League and Challenge League)?

We know everyone’s needs and schedules are different. So we designed a couple of different paths to help everyone to get the most out of their experience in Recycle Rally.


The Universal League is best for most participants, due to its simplicity. It provides multiple benefits with plenty of flexibility to invest as much time and energy as you’re able to.


The Challenge League is for those who want to put in more time and effort with potential for bigger rewards. This league requires significantly more time as participants must use the weighing tally method. However, it also offers the opportunity to earn up to 5,000,000 reward points during the school year.


Schools may switch between leagues on an infrequent basis, based on the sole discretion of the Recycle Rally team.


What is the Universal League?

The Universal League is best for most Recycle Rally schools. It’s simple, flexible, and offers access to many of the most popular program benefits. We designed this program for the many typical schools that want to increase their recycling rate. The program helps educate students about the importance of recycling, and earn some helpful rewards and prizes.


Universal League Reporting Method

Universal League participants use the Mixed Bag Count reporting method. All you need to do is log the number of mixed bags or bins of recyclables. Select which type(s) of bag(s) or bin(s) and describe the approximate mix of materials. You can do this in a few clicks in our “Report Recycling” portal. Our algorithm estimates how many bottles and cans you recycled.


Universal League Points

Recycle Rally awards the appropriate number of reward points into the participant’s account. Universal League schools may earn reward points up to a maximum of 500,000 points. Redeem these points for recycling supplies or Recycle Rally merchandise.


Universal League schools also have the opportunity to participate in our Recycling Advancement Plan, which encourages them to promote and expand recycling capability at their school and offers bonus points for reaching each new status level.


What is the Challenge League?

Challenge League is a special participation mode for schools with high participation in Recycle Rally. It typically works best for schools that want to pursue bigger rewards for taking their recycling efforts beyond their school and into the community.


Challenge League Differences

Challenge League schools enjoy most of the same benefits as Universal League schools, with the opportunity to earn more reward points. The key difference is that the Challenge League requires participants to separate plastic bottles from aluminum cans and weigh each bag using a handheld scale provided by Recycle Rally. While this method is more time-consuming than the Universal League’s mixed bag count method, it also provides a greater degree of accuracy.


Challenge League schools often involve broader networks to collect bottles and cans so they can recycle them on behalf of the school. These might include parents, local businesses and organizations, and other community members. Challenge League is best for schools that can handle extra recycling volume.


Due to the extra work, Challenge League schools can earn up to 5,000,000 reward points during the school year. (Points are subject to auditing and adjustments by PepsiCo Recycling at any time).


How do I determine which league to join?

When you apply to join Recycle Rally, you’ll choose the league you’d prefer to participate in. We recommend you start in Universal League unless you already have a well-established recycling program and want to take it to a new level.


You may request to switch to the other league at any time. We will monitor your participation level and, if you appear to be a good candidate for the Challenge League, then we may extend an invitation to switch to Challenge League. If you prefer to remain in Universal League, then you can waive our invitation to join the Challenge League. If you are in the Challenge League but your level of involvement is low or completely inactive, then we may switch you into Universal League at our sole discretion.


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What to Expect


This part of the Recycle Rally FAQ covers the time and effort schools typically put in to participate.


Does my school need to put a lot of effort into this program?

We offer numerous opportunities to get involved, so you can determine what works best for your school and schedule. Increased involvement improves your opportunity to earn rewards and teach your students about the importance of recycling.


If Recycle Rally falls out of your routine, no problem! You can step right back in and take advantage of the program as soon as you are ready. Just note, if you do not log any recycling activity during a 12-month period, your reward points will expire.


We encourage you to establish a routine to tally your recycling totals so you don’t miss out on the opportunity to earn points. We recommend logging on to our website on a weekly basis to report your totals. However, many schools have created alternative schedules that work well for them.


How much time should I expect to spend as a leader of this program at my school?

The time commitment is completely dependent on how much your school wants to get out of the program. Many Rally Leaders enjoy working with the students on creative projects to decorate walls or recycling bins and spread the word about your efforts, but you certainly don’t have to. All you really need to do is to tally your recycling totals and report them into your account on a regular basis so you can earn reward points and view your customized Impact Tracker reports.


According to surveys, Rally Leaders typically spend between one and nine hours per month managing the program. Many successful Rally Leaders work closely with a Green Team or environmental club to help spread out the effort.


Who should my school enlist to help manage this program?

We recommend that you designate at least two individuals to support Recycle Rally at your school. Vital roles include Rally Leader and Co-Leader.


Rally Leader

The Rally Leader should be a person with a passion for recycling. They must participate in and promote the recycling progress in your school. Good options include a teacher, principal, custodian, facility manager, PTA member, parent or other school representative.


This person serves as the Recycle Rally Team’s primary point of contact for distributing information to the school. They’re responsible for updating your school’s collection totals and online account. Leaders can redeem reward points and receive prizes if you win them.



Rally Leaders may designate several other people from the school as Co-Leaders. They can grant these sub-account holders access to their own program dashboard. Co-Leaders can use their dashboard to report collection totals and view the school’s recycling progress. They’ll also receive our emails.


Program Sponsor

It is also a good idea to enlist a Program Sponsor, which would typically be a school administrator. Their role is to help make recycling a priority for the school. They also provide support to help your school make the most out of your participation.


Green Team

A Green Team is a group of students that spreads the word and collects recyclables for Recycle Rally schools. It’s a great way to empower students to make a measurable impact and teach them valuable leadership skills.


How often will I receive communications from the Recycle Rally team?

We will provide regular email updates throughout the school year to help keep you and your students excited about recycling. Expect Recycle Rally messages in your inbox a few times per month. They’ll contain info about contests and promotions, new exciting resources, and other important program information.


Because we plan to communicate regularly, it is very important to keep your designated Rally Leader’s contact information up-to-date. If anything changes, contact us by email at Support@PepsiCoRecycling.com to provide updated contact information.


How long will my involvement with Recycle Rally last?

Once we accept your application, we’ll keep you enrolled as long as you continue to participate.


Challenge League schools must stay actively involved by averaging at least 25 lbs. per week and reporting recycling at least once per month. If you’re unable to meet those requirements, we’ll recommend a transition to Universal League.


To unsubscribe from our email list, just click on the Unsubscribe link at the bottom of any of our messages.


To un-enroll from Recycle Rally entirely, send an email to support@PepsiCoRecycling.com.


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Becoming a Recycle Rally Participant


Learn how to join and participate in this section of the Recycle Rally FAQ.


How do I get involved in Recycle Rally?

Applying to become a Recycle Rally participant is easy and only takes a few minutes! If you are eighteen (18) years of age or older and affiliated with a K-12 school and have authorization, visit PepsiCoRecycling.com/RecycleRally, click on the Join Us! button, and submit the application form. Then monitor your inbox for emails from Support@PepsiCoRecycling.com for updates on the status of your application within a week or two. (You may need to add our address to your safe sender’s list).


If you are under 18 or not affiliated with the school, reach out to a school employee or PTO/PTA representative to fill out the application.


What do I need in order to apply?

  • Access to a computer and internet source. Most internet browsers, including Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer are fully capable of supporting our web portal.
  • Valid email address and contact information for a primary contact (“Rally Leader”) and secondary contact (typically the principal or other faculty member).

Before applying, review your plans with your school principal or other school administrator. Be sure they are comfortable with getting your school involved.


Do you accept all applicants into Recycle Rally?

Our goal is to make the program available to as many schools as possible across the U.S.. However, we cannot guarantee that all applicants will be admitted. Some reasons for denial include:

  • Information on your application is incomplete or inaccurate.
  • We cannot validate that your application represents an educational institution for students between Kindergarten and 12th grade within the U.S.
  • Participation is not approved by a school administrator or does not follow  government regulations.

Schools that have an existing recycling provider can get started quickly. For those that do not have recycling service available, you can join our Need Service Waitlist. We’ll attempt to assist you in finding a recycling service provider. We will also provide a Recycling Service Toolkit to guide you in finding a recycling service that works best for your school.


Ultimately, Recycle Rally reserves the right to enroll and terminate school’s participation in the Recycle Rally at any time.


I applied to participate but haven’t heard anything yet. What should I do?

If more than two weeks have passed and you haven’t heard from the Recycle Rally team, do not reapply. First check your spam or junk mail folder for an email from Support@PepsiCoRecycling.com.


If there are no emails in your spam or junk mail folder, contact us directly. Call Recycle Rally Services at (888) 875-6555. Or, email Support@PepsiCoRecycling.com with the subject line “Was My Application Received?” Include your phone number, including the area code. Someone will contact you to address the situation.


What if my application information changes or needs to be updated?

Some of your account information is easy to update after logging into your account.
You can also contact Recycle Rally Support to change or update your information. Call (888) 875-6555 or e-mail Support@PepsiCoRecycling.com and someone will gladly assist you.


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Can’t find an answer to your question in the Recycle Rally FAQ? Call (888) 875-6555 or e-mail Support@PepsiCoRecycling.com.

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