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Wal-Mart Awards More Than $31,000 to Orange/Ventura-Area Schools in Honor of Students' Efforts to Recycle

Company’s plastic bag recycling program encourages local elementary students to help remove over 37 tons of plastic from the local waste stream


ORANGE, Calif., June 6, 2007 – Through its Kids Recycling Challenge program, Wal-Mart today announced it is awarding $31,075 to 98 Orange/Ventura-area schools for students’ efforts to become responsible stewards of their environment. The company’s Kids Recycling Challenge effort is the largest plastic bag recycling program of its kind ever undertaken.

From last September through March, elementary school students in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming were encouraged to bring plastic retail and grocery bags to their schools for recycling. For each 60-gallon collection bag filled with plastic bags and brought to a local Wal-Mart store, the school was awarded $5.00 from Wal-Mart.

Schools were grouped into geographic regions, and competed against other elementary schools in their region. The ten schools in each region that brought in the most collection bags received additional cash grants from Wal-Mart: $3,000 for first place, $2,000 for second place, $1,000 for third place, and $250 each for fourth through tenth places.

Additionally, the top school in each region will be rewarded with an entertaining and educational school-wide assembly performance, courtesy of Wal-Mart.

The Orange/Ventura area was designated as one region, with schools in Orange, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties competing against each other.

“As an active leader in the local communities that our stores serve, Wal-Mart is committed to improving the environment, increasing awareness about recycling, and helping our schools get much-needed funding,” said Greg Coggins, Manager of Wal-Mart Store #2546 in Orange. “It was a thrill to see the principals, teachers, and parent volunteers come into the store with their cartloads of bags, and we were all surprised to see just how quickly they added up. Many schools have asked us if they can continue bringing in bags even though the current program is over. They have become so accustomed to recycling that earning money for the bags has almost become secondary.”

Orange/Ventura region results
Collectively, 98 elementary schools in the Orange/Ventura region participated in the program, filling a total of 4,665 collection bags – weighing 74,640 pounds – and earning $31,075 in the process.

West Orange Elementary in Orange topped all participating Orange/Ventura-area schools by filling 614 60-gallon collection bags (totaling 9,824 pounds). In addition to earning $5.00 per bag, and the $3,000 grand prize, the students of West Orange Elementary will also be rewarded with entertaining assemblies focusing on the environment, courtesy of Wal-Mart. The assemblies will take place today at 8:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. Prior to each assembly, a representative from Wal-Mart will present a check for $6,070 to the hard-working students.

“The funds we earned through the Wal-Mart Kids Recycling Challenge will help our West Orange Recycling Ambassador’s Education Project will use the funds send six students and two teachers to Washington DC to receive an energy award at the NEED (National Energy Education Development) Youth Awards Program,” said Vicki Anderson, Third Grade Teacher at West Orange Elementary. “This is a great honor and experience for the students who have come from a Title One School with a predominantly Hispanic population, and an experience that will never be forgotten. The education our students received – combined with the positive environmental impact they have made and the leadership skills they obtained – will make all of these ‘Recycling Ambassadors’ responsible leaders of the future.”

Rounding out the top ten schools, the big winners in the Orange/Ventura region include:

All told, nearly 2,800 schools in 12 states filled more than 131,000 60-gallon collection bags from September 2006 through March 2007, and earned more than $830,000 from Wal-Mart.

A history of success
The Kids Recycling Challenge debuted in February 2005 in Sacramento, Palm Springs, and Salt Lake City, and has since expanded to Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Since its inception, nearly 2,800 schools have enrolled in the program, representing more than one million students. Participating schools have recycled 1,400 tons of plastic bags and have collected nearly $1.2 million from Wal-Mart.

The next Kids Recycling Challenge will run from Fall 2007 through Spring 2008 in the same states. Interested schools are invited to visit www.kidsrecyclingchallenge.com to learn more and to enroll.

About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Every week, millions of customers visit Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam’s Club locations across America or log on to its online store at www.walmart.com.  The company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of giving back locally. Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) is proud to support the causes that are important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods, and last year gave more than $270 million to local communities in the United States.  To learn more, visit www.walmartfacts.com, www.walmartstores.com, or www.walmartfoundation.org.

EDITORS’ NOTES
•    Assembly photos can be found at www.walmartfacts.com.
•    Complete final results of the Kids Recycling Challenge and additional program information can be found at www.kidsrecyclingchallenge.com/media.html.
•    Wal-Mart information online: www.walmartfacts.com; merchandise sales: www.walmart.com.

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