Residents and community members are encouraged to collect plastic bottle caps and lids — which typically cannot be recycled locally -and help Keep Port St. Lucie Beautiful re-use and transform them into community “buddy benches.”
Keep Port St. Lucie Beautiful will officially kick off this new Buddy Bench project on America Recycles Day on Nov. 15, 2018 with a 10:30 a.m. rally at West Gate K-8 School. KPSLB received a $500 Waste-in-Place Grant from Keep Florida Beautiful to get the project off the ground, which is part of a nationwide movement to give children a place to sit with a buddy when they are feeling alone or bullied.
KPSLB partnered with several City departments (Communications, Neighborhood Services, Police and Utility Systems), Waste Pro and the Boys and Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County, whose members have become ambassadors for the project. The City also is working with three local schools for the initial phase of the project: Morningside Elementary, Oak Hammock K-8 and West Gate K-8.
“This Buddy Bench project is a perfect fit with Keep Port St. Lucie’s goal to expand awareness for litter prevention and recycling,” said Georgette Beck, Keep Port St. Lucie Beautiful Coordinator. “It also allows us to work on the City’s strategic goals to partner with our local schools and to keep Port St. Lucie safe, clean and beautiful.”
Each school will need to collect 200 pounds of caps to create their one bench. Once collected, KPSLB will send the caps to Green Tree Plastics, based in Evansville, IN, which has created a program designed to fabricate the benches to help educate students about recycling.
Community members are invited and encouraged to help the students reach their 200 pound of caps goal. Keep Port St. Lucie Beautiful has placed blue buckets at four City locations for residents to drop off their clean collected caps:
• City Hall Lobby, 121 SW Port St. Lucie Blvd.
• PSL Civic Center -Recreation area, 9221 SE Civic Center Place
• PSL Community Center, 2195 SE Airoso Blvd
• Port St. Lucie Police Department
Any local business or community group that would like to set up a collection spot can contact Keep Port St. Lucie Beautiful at 772-871-5103. The attached flyer lists the specific types of accepted caps and lids. This project will wrap up on April 20, 2019 at KPSLB’s Caring Community Clean Up and Celebration Day.