The folks at Raft California aren’t just committed to providing guests with a spectacular white water rafting adventure. They are also committed to promoting environmental care and protection. One way they are giving back to the environment is through their aluminum can recycling program.
At the end of each year, the Raft California staff elect an “Employee of the Year.” In 2020, Teagan Santin, who spearheads the training program for Tributary Whitewater Tours, was nominated by her peers and selected as the recipient of this title. But what does Raft California’s employee of the year have to do with SYRCL?
Raft California staff encourages guests to the river and its employees to crush and recycle aluminum cans, which they then turn into cash at the local recycling centers at the end of the season.
This year, they decided to give the person bestowed with the Employee of the Year award the honor of selecting the recipient of the recycling funds. Tributary Whitewater Tours then matches the donation, thereby doubling the award.
SYRCL is thrilled to announce that Santin has chosen us as the recipient of their cash donation. This generous gift will support the work we do to protect and restore the Yuba River watershed.
Here How does the Recycling Program Work?
Cans were collected at Raft California’s campground in Lotus, CA on the South Fork of the American River and their Maupin, OR Deschutes River Outpost. They set up designated “Can Cans” that are meant for the collection of aluminum cans only.
The “Can Cans” were outfitted with signage that shares the importance of separating recyclable items. In addition to cans found over the course of various river trips, the staff of Raft California also collected and recycled cans collected at campsites and their office.
By involving their employees in the project and educating them about the importance of collecting and sorting the aluminum cans, Raft California staff were able to share what they learned with guests and encourage all those who cherish the river and all it has to offer to dispose of their trash in a responsible and ecological manner.
One of Raft California’s “Can Cans” and a small sample of the aluminum cans collected. Photos courtesy of the Raft California website
After collecting the cans, the staff of Raft California began the cathartic and exhilarating activity of can smashing, a step in the recycling process that was inspired by Santin.
How do the Raft California staffers achieve this feat? With “Can Smashers”, of course! In an effort to conserve space while collecting cans throughout the rafting season, Raft California had their ingenious can smashers custom made by their favorite local welder. They repurposed broken oars that were destined for the landfill and had them welded into 6”x6” metal plates.
According to the “Can Smasher”-wielding staffers, they worked like a charm while also providing great fun.
Teagan Santin with her “Can Smasher”/photos courtesy of the Raft California website
Through their innovative recycling program, Raft California was able to raise $363.37 and, with a 100% company match, SYRCL will receive $726.74.
Over the years, Raft California has been an outspoken supporter of not only SYRCL, but many other local and country wide non-profits as well. Through their work, they have made clear their dedication to protecting our natural resources, preserving our access to recreation in the outdoors, and educating others about conservation and sustainability.
We at SYRCL would like to thank Raft California and Teagan Santin for choosing us as the recipient of your donation and sharing in our commitment to unite the community to protect and restore the Yuba River watershed!
To learn more about Raft California and their commitment to going green and giving back, or to book your own white water rafting adventure, please visit American River White Water Rafting Trips | Raft California. You can read Raft California’s blog post about their can recycling program and donation to SYRCL at Going Green Blog: Episode 3 “Recycling Money Donated to SYRCL” | Raft California