HomeMoorestown NewsFirst Baptist Church meets recycling challenge

First Baptist Church meets recycling challenge

Firm’s contest highlights elimination of plastics ahead of ban.

CHRISTINE HARKINSON/The Sun: First Baptist Church of Moorestown will collect recyclable plastics through Sept. 15 in the bin shown above, part of a manufacturing company’s recycling challenge.

The First Baptist Church of Moorestown is collecting donated recyclables through Sept. 15 in a six-month plastic film recycling challenge.

The challenge sponsor is Trex, a manufacturer of composite decking and outdoor living products. The company sponsors local recycling programs; the plastic film challenge awards a composite bench to local communities and schools that collect 500 pounds of recycled plastics and film.

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The church is collecting donated plastics such as grocery bags, ice bags, bubble wrap, dry-cleaning bags and cereal bags in bins labeled Recycle Beyond the Bag through the side ramp door in Fellowship Hall. The items will then be collected, weighed and recorded online monthly by Trex and delivered weekly to local participating grocers.

The challenge is the first for the church, and once 500 pounds of plastic are collected, it will receive a third bench for its community garden.

“We learned about it from a friend who goes to a synagogue in Cinnaminson and they had done this, so we decided we would give it a try for a bench for our garden,” said Norma Wright, co-chair of the church’s community garden.

She addressed how New Jersey’s impending ban on single-use plastics – effective May 4 – will impact donations.

“It’s going to be a little bit of a challenge with the fact that plastic bags will become obsolete, but we’re going on faith that we’ll be able to meet it and then have another bench for our garden,” she explained. 

“All of it is being kept out of the landfill,” Wright added. “Even if we didn’t get a bench, it’s a win-win.”

After weighing the plastics weekly, Wright delivers everything to grocery stores such as Wegmans and Acme. She noted how the community outside of the church has become a part of the project.

“I’ve informed my neighbors, other people have informed their neighbors,” Wright said. “Whereas we started it here (First Baptist), different church members and friends have reached out to whatever they’re involved with and gather it (plastics) there.”

Other plastics that can be donated include resealable food-storage bags, product wrap, plastic shipping envelopes and electronic wrap.

“I think a lot of people have always or have recycled their plastic grocery bags,” Wright said. “You’ll see people go to the grocery store and put them in the container outside, but I wasn’t aware of all the different plastics that can be used or can be taken.”

First Baptist has collected 148 pounds of recyclable plastic as of April 2.

Wright hopes the community will appreciate the value of Trex’s recycling challenge.

“There’s a lot of waste, but there’s a lot of good that can come out of the waste, and every little bit helps,” she noted. “Every little two to three pounds adds up.”

For more information on the project, contact Wright at Nccav@aol.com.


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