WESTWOOD – For the past year, the Westwood Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC) has been collecting single-use bags and plastic at three locations in town and the town is reaping the benefits. A recycled plastic bench created from the collected materials now sits inside the Westwood Municipal Building.
Although the sturdy recycled plastic bench will move out to the Committee’s Rain Garden in front to the building as soon as the garden is built in the spring, the Committee feels that receiving more benches would be a benefit.
According to Committee chairman Philip Bicocchi, the EAC began collecting plastic “film” last February from a variety of sources ranging from the most common – grocery and shopping bags – to the overwrap on paper towels, dry cleaner bags, sandwich bags, newspaper sleeves, etc. As most residents know, these plastic items should NOT be included with your municipal the recycling.
“Collection boxes are currently located in the Municipal Center, the Community Center, and the DPW,” reports EAC member Jeanne Guderian, “and a fourth location -- the Westwood Library -- is about to be added. We will find more locations as the program grows in popularity.”
The Trex Company, one of the largest plastic bag recyclers in the U.S., is the sponsor for the effort, hosting collection programs to promote plastic film and bag recycling. Many schools and community groups participate in these programs nationwide in the hopes of winning a Trex bench. The program is simple. The participating group promotes and collects the plastic bags; they report the collection amount to Trex and deliver the plastic bags to participating Trex retailers.
“Stop and Shop is the retailer that we use as the collection point for our single use bags collections,” Guderian adds. “We encourage all Westwood residents to participate in this program.”