Wilken

A blue roll-off box was dropped off by Wilken & Sons Auto Salvage at the West Hancock Community School District bus barn in Britt to recycle residents' scrap metal. Profit made by recycling the metal will go back to the district.

BRITT | Area residents looking to get rid of scrap metal can do so by giving back to the West Hancock Community School District.

On Thursday, Oct. 26, Superintendent Wayne Kronemann announced on the district’s Facebook page Wilken & Sons Auto Salvage had placed roll-off boxes at the bus barns in Britt and Kanawha for residents to recycle their scrap for a profit.

“It all goes right back to the school,” said Louie Valetti, manager of Wilken & Sons Auto Salvage in Britt.

Stacey Goepel, West Hancock transportation and building and grounds director, said he received a call from Sara Wilken, owner of Wilken & Sons Auto Salvage, earlier this year about holding a scrap metal drive for the school district.

So, how does it work?

Members of the community drop off “anything scrap iron wise from steels, aluminums and coppers” in either of the roll-off boxes, and once the boxes are full, Wilken employees will pick up the box, weigh the scrap and write a check to West Hancock for the amount given.

The money raised during the scrap metal drive will go toward student project funds at the high school, middle school and elementary school, Goepel said.

High School Principal Dan Peterson said the fund pays for “miscellaneous items that directly benefit the students" in grades seven through 12.

In the past the fund has been used to pay for some high school student activities that don’t have revenue sources, like Quiz Bowl, Speech and Rube Goldberg, as well as contributed to various projects at the school, such as a new drinking fountain, wall graphics, student awards and pieces of technology. He said the fund has been used to help with field trips, too.

“Unfortunately the high school doesn't have any consistent or major revenues to this fund, as we do not do any general major fundraising, like the elementary and middle school,” Peterson said, noting the abundance of athletic, club and organizational fundraisers held at the high school.

Because of that, the income to the fund is “generally limited” to revenue from specific donations, the staff pop machine, the healthy snack machine for students and sometimes leftover funds from the previous senior class.

Peterson said the largest contributor to the fund was Target with its “Take Charge of Education” program, which was discontinued in 2016 resulting in the high school student project fund’s loss of a “major revenue stream.”

Middle School Principal Ruth Verbrugge said the middle school’s fund supports honor choir and band activities, competition, Soaring Eagles activities and athletic purchases. It’s only source of funding is the fall magazine and cookie dough fundraiser.

West Hancock isn’t the only school district Wilken & Sons Auto Salvage is offering a scrap iron drive. The business also offers drives for Nashua-Plainfield, North Butler, West Central and Tripoli school districts. Valetti said.

“It’s a community thing,” he said. “We have a business in town and want to contribute to the town. We’re not out to gain anything.”

Valetti said the roll-off box will remain at the bus barns in Britt and Kanawha until the school district decides to discontinue the scrap metal drive.

Reach Reporter Ashley Stewart at 641-421-0533. Follow her on Twitter at GGastewart.

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