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Gilbert schools aim to save 1 million plastic bags from landfills


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  • Jennifer Alvarez & Adria Surovy/Town of Gilbert

Bench-the-Bag

More than 20 Gilbert Public Schools and Higley Unified School District elementary schools are committing to “Bench the Bag” between February 9th and March 6th; working together to keep one million plastic bags out of the landfill.

The “Bench the Bag” program, spearheaded by the East Valley Recycling Alliance, is not limited to plastic bags. The program also includes various types of plastic films that can be recycled, including grocery, department store, dry cleaning, bread, produce, and Ziploc bags. Any type of overwrap (paper towel, toilet paper, etc.) or shrink wrap will also be accepted.

Gilbert schools aim to save 1 million plastic bags from landfills 2Bench-the-Bag-2-Inside

Photo courtesy of Arizona Scitech

All bags must be clean with no paper, receipts, or leftover food inside. Soft plastics from bulk or retail stores that are already being recycled or materials that have not been used should not be donated.

“Bench the Bag” is part of the Arizona SciTech Festival. As the students work towards their goal of collecting one million bags they will also be learning why recycling is important and how one person can truly make a difference. Once again, Bashas’ Family of Stores is helping our community by providing logistical support and prizes.

One school from both Gilbert Public Schools and Higley Unified School District will receive a bench for their school from Trex Company, Inc., a company that produces wood-composite decking out of the recycled bags. In addition, each participating school will receive planter boxes.

For a list of participating schools accepting public donations, visit gilbertrecycles.org. For additional information, please contact Gilbert’s Environmental Outreach Specialists at (480) 503-6459 or via email atrecycle@gilbertaz.gov.