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YMCA collecting plastic bags for a bench

The Mathews Family YMCA is on a mission. Led by chairman of its board of managers Sheila Crowley, the Y is collecting thousands of plastic bags and other soft plastics in order to earn a bench to place outdoors at the facility.

On Monday morning, Crowley arrived at the Y and immediately began gathering together large plastic bags that Y staff and members had stuffed with different kinds of plastic. One bag, typical of what they’ve been collecting, weighed 5.94 pounds.

Crowley said the company Trex uses soft recyclable plastics to create sturdy, weather-resistant, wood-looking benches that are guaranteed to last for 20 years. She learned about the program when her grandson, who lives in Henrico, asked her to save plastic for his school’s bench project. When he no longer needed the plastic, she decided to bring the project home to Mathews.

The only catch to the deal is that it takes 500 pounds of plastic to earn a bench, and that 500 pounds has to be collected within a four-month time...

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