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A Hawaii teen is recycling cans to raise money for college, but it’s not for his own tuition

Published: Jul. 9, 2021 at 4:36 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 9, 2021 at 4:41 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Thirteen-year-old Genshu Price is a wizard at recycling. The Punaluu teenager started doing it three years ago, at his father’s urging.

“It was my Dad’s idea to collect cans and bottles to fund my college tuition,” he said.

But that idea morphed into something much bigger ― a campaign Genshu named Bottles4College.

“After a while we figured that we could branch it off and make it for other students. That way it can be bigger,” he said. “It could help so many people.”

He wants to use money from his recycling work to put other kids through school, and his effort is taking off.

With his parents help, most days of the week are devoted to collecting bottles and cans and turning them in to Reynolds Recycling centers.

“Just at the beginning of this year, I think we were excited having a pick-up truck filled. And now we are filling box trucks,” said his mom, Maria.

He gets recyclables from donors all over Oahu.

The biggest hauls come from Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii’s cleanups, and from his drop-off depots at King Intermediate, Mililani Uka Elementary, Kualoa Ranch, and other spots.

“Within those six months we’ve recycled at least 5,000 pounds,” Genshu said.

The money goes into his Bottles4College account.

He’s also a budding filmmaker. He shot a short story about his effort that aired on Olelo. It presented his master plan.

“It takes 1 to 2 million cans and bottles to send one to two kids on a fully-funded ride to college,” he said.

The Price family is turning Bottles4College into a non-profit. And they’re just starting to plan the process for awarding a Bottles4College scholarship to a lucky student.

“He wants it to be a fair process,” Maria said. “He wants it to be for students who want to strive, regardless of background and who want this opportunity.”

At the rate he’s receiving recyclables he may be able to award his first scholarship next year.

“I am super excited for that. I really want that to happen,” he said.

He’s also trying to raise money for a box truck that will be stationed at Windward Mall so people can bring their cans and bottles to him.

To learn more about Genshu’s Bottles4College recycling drive, click here.

You can also find him on Instagram Facebook, Tik Tok, and Twitter.

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