Local elementary schools, including Gateway Polytechnic Academy, 5149 S. Signal Butte Road in Mesa, are joining the East Valley Recycling Alliance, Bashas’, Trex and Right Away Disposal to “Bench the Bag.”
Students at participating schools are collecting plastic bags through April 12 to help divert plastic bags from landfills.
Area residents can help local students and the environment by taking their plastic bags to the school from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday through April 12. The school website is http://www.gpa.qcusd.org/.
Accepted plastic bags include grocery bags, bread bags, dry cleaner bags, department store bags and shrink wrap. Bags must be empty and clean with no liquid or food residue.
The campaign focuses on plastic bags, which are not allowed in the curbside blue recycling carts. Not only can plastic bags get caught in the recycling machinery and jam the systems, there are limited options for recycling them, according to a press release.
The plastic bag collection drive educates students that plastic bags are not accepted in the blue recycling cart, but can be returned and recycled at select local grocery and retail stores.
The local elementary school that collects the most plastic bags will receive a bench made from recycled plastic bags. All participating schools will receive a gift, also made from plastic bags.
Both items are being donated by Trex, the manufacturer of high performance wood-alternative furniture and decking. The winning school will be determined by the total weight of the plastic bags that are collected.