Town, schools partner to ‘Bench the Bag’ for recycling

In 2014, students at Frances Brandon-Pickett Elementary School, 22076 E. Village Loop in Queen Creek, collected the most plastic bags for Queen Creek’s Bench the Bag campaign during the first two weeks of the program. The school also is participating in this year's program. (File photo)

In 2014, students at Frances Brandon-Pickett Elementary School, 22076 E. Village Loop in Queen Creek, collected the most plastic bags for Queen Creek’s Bench the Bag campaign during the first two weeks of the program. The school also is participating in this year’s program. (File photo)

 

Local elementary schools are joining the town of Queen Creek, the East Valley Recycling Alliance, Bashas’ grocery stores, Trex and Right Away Disposal to “Bench the Bag.” Students at participating schools will be collecting plastic bags from Feb. 1 through March 4 to help divert plastic bags from landfills.

Queen Creek residents can help local students and the environment by taking their plastic bags to the following locations between Feb. 1 and March 4 — from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday. 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 participating sites are:

•American Leadership Academy, 19843 E. Chandler Heights Road, Queen Creek
•Desert Mountain Elementary, 22301 S. Hawes Road, Queen Creek
•Frances-Brandon Pickett Elementary, 22076 E. Village Loop, Queen Creek
•Gateway Polytechnic Academy, 5149 S. Signal Butte, Mesa
•Jack Barnes Elementary, 20750 S. 214th Street, Queen Creek
•Queen Creek Elementary, 23636 S. 204th Street, Queen Creek

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. 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.

“We are excited to partner with our local elementary schools on the important effort,” Queen Creek Mayor Gail Barney said. “Our students are the future leaders of this community, and we value these opportunities to teach them about recycling and the impacts on the environment.”

The local elementary school that collects the most plastic bags will receive a bench made from recycled plastic bags. All participating schools will receive planters that are also made from plastic bags. Both items are being donated by Trex, a 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; the winner will be announced in April.

For more information about the town’s recycling program, visit its website.

Editor’s note: Constance Halonen-Wilson is the public information officer for the town of Queen Creek.

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