GENOA – About three years ago, the Genoa Lions Club started a plastic bottle cap recycling project with the initial goal to obtain a park bench made from the recycled plastic while keeping the caps out of landfills.
A park bench can be purchased outright or at a reduced cost of $250 for every 200 pounds of plastic collected. Working with Green Tree Plastics of Evansville, Indiana, the plastic bottle caps would be melted down and formed into a bench.
After clarification of the project requirements, it was discovered that the project needed a children's group involvement to qualify for the reduced pricing. Local Cub and Boy Scout troops accepted the invitation to participate.
Caps were collected using bins set around town in hopes of getting enough. Plastic bottle caps were donated by members as well as extended family from many nearby towns to Genoa, as well as several other states, a few from California, South Dakota and Florida.
Many hours were spent packaging caps for the bench. Without a permanent spot to store the caps until delivery, Lions members had hundreds of pounds of caps in boxes and bags in their garages and basements.
The Lions Club, local scouts and their family members worked to gather, sort, clean and box up all the caps.
The project collected more than 1,100 pounds of caps. With the help of sponsors, five 6-foot benches will be placed throughout the community. Sponsors, including the Dreska Family, the Genoa Park District and Mike Crestsinger from Genoa Motors Auto Sales, helped cover the discounted cost for purchasing the benches.