If you have empty cans from your Super Bowl party, you can donate them to a good cause and help animals in need. Our Maria Valvanis has the details.
MENANDS, N.Y. -- Marc Barron has been starting his weeks the same way for years: tossing his empty bottles and cans behind the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society.
"Saves me time, and saves me from running around to different places to drop the bottles off," said Barron.
By participating in the Humane Society's "Empties for Animals" program, Barron's trash is traded in for money to provide medical care for our furry friends.
Brad Shear is the executive director of the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society.
He said, "We help about 6,000 animals a year, we've been doing the program 10 years, so that's about 60,000 animals we've helped by people dropping off their bottles and cans to us."
In 2013, more than one million bottles and cans were donated. As a result, sorting those bottles and cans becomes a full time job for volunteers such as Paul Cooke.
"Bring it on, bring us more," said Cooke.
With Super Bowl parties behind us, Cooke was at the humane society early Monday morning to accommodate the expected influx of drop offs.
"We divide them by bottles and cans, and by type, and we box them up," explained Cooke.
You may think it's a noisy job, but Cooke says he hears a cash register.
He said, "We regularly get shipments from down south of animals that would otherwise be euthanized, so when people drop off their donations, we're literally saving lives."
It is an irreplaceable gift that all started as garbage.
"I consider myself privileged to be able to do it," added Cooke.
"We don't have a pup at home that's not a rescue, so it is very important to our family," said Barron.
Volunteers ask that you leave the tops off of your bottles when donating, and make sure your bag of cans or bottles is tied closed.
Empties for Animals: