Plastic destined for landfill turned into benches instead

WARWICK. Lions Club donates its first 'enviornmentally responsible' bench to Warwick Valley Community Center

  • Provided photo The Warwick Lions Club donated the first bench earned through the Trex recycled plastic challenge to the Warwick Valley Community Center. Pictured from left are Lion George McManus, WVCC Director Karen Thomas, Lions Claire Gabelman, Kathy McManus, Christine Adams and Sara Werling.

Keeping plastic waste out of landfills – and turning that waste into something useful – that is the idea behind a program started by Trex, maker of composite materials used for outdoor decking and furniture.

Trex has challenged communities and organizations to collect plastic waste and “redeem” it for new park benches.

The Warwick Lions Club has taken up the challenge and spearheaded this initiative in Warwick.

On May 2, the first bench was donated and delivered to the Warwick Valley Community Center located at 11 Hamilton Ave. in the Village of Warwick. Community Center Director Karen Thomas was very grateful for the addition to their outdoor spaces.

Accepted recyclable materials

Since November, Lion George McManus has been diligently keeping track of bags of plastic that have been turned in to be recycled. For every 500 pounds collected, Trex will donate an “environmentally responsible” bench back to the community.

The acceptable plastic material for recycling is that which comes into homes every single day: grocery bags, newspaper sleeves, dry cleaning bags, bread and produce bags, case overwrap (such as that around cases of water bottles, toilet paper bundles, or packages), sandwich and other resealable bags, bubble wrap, salt bags and cereal bags.

All bags must be clean, dry and free of food residue. A filled 30-gallon garbage bag will hold approximately eight pounds of recyclable plastic.

Drop-off points and notification

Drop-off points for the plastic include:

• Price Chopper on Route 94. Go around the right side of the building to get to the rear loading dock;

• Track 7 Postal Center located at 3 Forester Ave. in the Village of Warwick; and

• Roe Brothers Lumber & Hardware located at 65 Maple Ave. in the Village of Florida.

After delivery to one of the above locations, participants should contact McManus with the total that was dropped off by sending a brief email to or calling 986-1681 and leaving a message.

More information can be found on the Warwick Lions website, or their Facebook page,

The challenge

McManus “challenged” other organizations to get on board as only one bench per organization may be redeemed during each challenge. If other organizations participate there will be chances for more benches for the community.

A new challenge began May 15.

More information on the Trex recycling challenge is available at

“We can keep the town of Warwick clean by keeping plastic out of the waste stream," McManus said, "and get a bunch of benches for the effort."

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