One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Just ask Prospect Elementary School fifth-graders.
Students collected more than 1,200 pounds of plastic lids and caps from water bottles, detergent, hair spray, deodorant sticks, milk jugs, and even peanut butter jars.
All the materials were destined for Green Tree Plastics, where they were transformed into three park benches.
The Illinois-based company runs the ABC — that’s A Bench for Caps — program designed to teach children about caring for the earth and green living.
Kim Koos, International Baccalaureate coordinator for the Oberlin City Schools, and Jeni Hoover, director of Kendal’s Early Learning Center, led the effort to help young people understand the positive impact of recycling.
The project was connected to an IB unit on sharing the planet that involved conservation and reducing the use of natural resources.
“We’re saving the planet but also getting something in return for a heavily-reduced price,” Koos said. Four hundred pounds of collected plastic and $225 makes a six-foot-long bench, which would normally cost up to $700.
The ABC program requires students to decide where the bench is placed so they can show others and be proud of what they have accomplished.
Prospect students would like one of the benches to be a “buddy bench” on their playground where kids can go when they’re feeling lonely and need a friend.
Oberlin High School and Kendal at Oberlin also helped in collecting caps.
Laurie Hamame can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @HamameNews on Twitter