Jack Barnes students collect 70,313 plastic bags to win Bench the Bag

0323qc Barnes Bench the Bag Winners

Jack Barnes students collect 70,313 plastic bags to win Bench the Bag. (Courtesy of QCUSD)

Local elementary schools spent the month of February “Benching the Bag.” In partnership with the Town of Queen Creek, the East Valley Recycling Alliance, Bashas’, Trex and Right Away Disposal, students collected plastic bags to help divert them from landfills and keep them from damaging recycling equipment. After five weeks of collecting, students at Jack Barnes Elementary won with 70,313 bags.

“This is an important partnership because it is helping our youth understand proper recycling while benefitting the environment,” commented Queen Creek Mayor Gail Barney. “We appreciate the efforts of the students, their teachers, and everyone who donated plastic bags.”

Nearly 275,000 bags were collected by participating schools, American Leadership Academy, Desert Mountain Elementary, Frances-Brandon Pickett Elementary, Gateway Polytechnic Academy, Jack Barnes Elementary and Queen Creek Elementary. Trex is donating a bench to Jack Barnes Elementary, and all of the participating schools will receive planters; both the bench and the planters are made from plastic bags.

The campaign focused on plastic bags, which are not allowed in curbside recycling carts because of the damage they cause to recycling equipment. In addition to educating youth through the Bench the Bag program, the Town recently launched a comprehensive trash and recycling outreach campaign called Shut Your Lid. The multimedia campaign is designed to educate, inform and encourage proper use of trash and recycling carts.

Now that the Bench the Bag competition is complete, residents are encouraged to continue to properly dispose of plastic bags through recycling them at select local grocery stores, or re-using them.

The Queen Creek Independent is mailed each month to 35,000 homes.

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