Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020
Working together to meet a goal
Whether we meet in person or not, our congregation is still accomplishing some pretty amazing things!

Last winter - pre-pandemic - a small group led by Sally Ross and Jane Masters initiated the idea of a 'plastics collection'. The goal was to collect 500 pounds of plastic and keep it out of area landfills - the targeted plastic being the bags, wraps, and packaging that is not recycled by municipal programs.
Inspired by a similar program at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Lehigh Valley - which Sally's sister Josie had spearheaded - the team worked out the details to partner with Trex, a company that makes composite decking and outdoor furniture from virgin and recycled plastic. With a donation of 500 pounds of plastics, the church would earn a handsome bench from Trex.
Above right: Jane Masters and Sally Ross prepare a display of the appropriate items for the plastic recycling project.

With instructions in hand for what can be recycled, and how to prepare them - clean and dry! - our congregation began the collection in earnest. Each week Sally and her crew collected the donations, weighed them, and - most importantly - went through each bag to assure the directives had been followed. Sally reports that for the most part, folks were diligent about recycling the correct items, so thank you for that!
Right: Wonder how you weigh plastic? Sally demonstrates, with the fish scale she got from her sister Josie. The bag of plastic hangs on a hook at the bottom of the scale, and then it moves to the correct marker. Pretty slick! (And for a point of reference, that bag she's holding weighed about 12 pounds.)

When the building closed for in-person activities, we're happy to say that people kept collecting their plastic items. And over the summer we were able to invite them to drop off their donations at the building.
After many, many trips to Weis Market, our partner in this project,
Sally reports that we have hit our target of 500 pounds!
So what happens next?

  • We are no longer collecting plastics. However, you are encouraged to keep collecting, and drop them off at your local grocery store (check for a container at the entrance).

  • The Property Committee has been provided with the information about the bench we have earned. It is made from Trex recycled plastic, and is available in several colors - they will choose the color and location.
  • You might be involved with another organization that would be interested in doing this same project. Check the details at trex.com/recycling/recycling-programs/ - Sally will be glad to help with any questions.
There has already been interest raised in doing another collection by our church, to earn another bench. "If" we are to do this, we would wait until it's easier for us to access the building in person - and - we would need a new team to take the lead. If you feel called to this, please contact Sally via info@fpc-bethlehem.org.

Many thanks to all who supported this "earth-friendly" initiative!