06/18/06 — Keep Wayne Beautiful, WCC sponsor plastic recycling day Tuesday

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Keep Wayne Beautiful, WCC sponsor plastic recycling day Tuesday

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on June 18, 2006 2:03 AM

From staff reports

Keep Wayne County Beautiful and Wayne Community College are joining forces to help boost recycling.

On Tuesday, the beautification panel and members of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges, will kick off a recycling campaign to encourage people to get rid of their plastic in an environmentally sensitive way.

They are asking the community to collect as many plastic items with the PET, PETE or No. 1 stamped on them and drop them off at the college any time until through noon on June 20, or at Sam's Club from 6 until 7 p.m. the day.

The project is the result of a $2,500 grant Keep Wayne County Beautiful received to help launch "Return the Warmth," a plastic bottle (PET) recycling program that turns plastic bottles into fleece jackets for children in need across the country.

Keep Wayne County Beautiful is one of only 10 Keep America Beautiful, Inc. affiliates across the nation chosen to receive the grant and is eligible to receive an assortment of fleece jackets containing recycled bottle material to distribute to children in the community if the project succeeds in being one of the top collectors in the country.

Aquafina, Sam's Club, and Keep America Beautiful introduced "Return the Warmth" as a school-based recycling program with a goal to recycle millions of bottles in the first year. After the initial kick off, Phi Theta Kappa and Keep Wayne County Beautiful plan to continue this program and encourage the participation from Wayne County public and private schools.

"We need the support of residents and businesses alike," said Simonne Cato, director of Keep Wayne County Beautiful. "This is a cost-free donation program. Simply collect empty soda and water bottles, and bring to them to Sam's Club through June 20 from 6 until 7 p.m. There will be a Sam's Club associate to collect the bottles and place them in a large roll-off provided by Waste Industries. This is wonderful way to promote recycling and show how to 'close the loop:' turning the recycled materials into an essential product."

Phi Theta Kappa has launched "Operation Green: Improving Our Communities," an international service program for Phi Theta Kappa's 1,200 chapters, in partnership with Keep America Beautiful.

"We couldn't focus on the environment locally without working with Keep Wayne County Beautiful," said Upsilon Chi co-president Michelle Rogers. "This service project also fulfills our desire to work with other educational institutions and to educate younger people. As we move into working with the schools in this area, we intend to do more than collect plastic. We want kids to understand why they need to properly dispose of used materials. And if we can win the jackets for children in this area, we will fulfill another of our missions, to serve our fellow man."

"The 'Return the Warmth' campaign and partnership with Keep America Beautiful and Aquafina has provided a great avenue for our Associates to give back to the many communities we serve," said Doug McMillon, Sam's Club president and chief executive officer. "We are pleased to partner with them in their quest to improve the quality of life for children nationwide."