BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - If you’re looking for a great project to do on and after Earth Day, Monday, April 22, the Berkeley Heights Environmental Commission (BHEC) has the solution:  adopt a Trex Bin. 

Earth Day is an opportunity for members of the public to focus on the preservation of Earth’s environment, concern for living things, and the connection between pollution and public health.  Recycling and repurposing items such as thin film plastics is planet-friendly and upholds key Earth Day principles.  

According to Rev. Andrew M. Prachar, Pastor at Church of the Little Flower and someone who has recently requested at least one Trex bin for his congregants, “As I’ve gotten older, I have come to recognize the negative impact that plastics can have on our world. Pope Francis reminds us that being protectors of the Lord’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue.  Being educated as to our impact on the world can help us form better habits, for example, taking an extra step to be conscious of these thin film plastics that are so much a part of our daily lives, collecting them, and placing them in our Trex bins.  St. Therese would say: ‘Do small things with great love.’ Collecting thin film plastics would certainly make St. Therese smile.”

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Indeed, items such as plastic bags, newspaper sleeves, bread bags, dry cleaning wrap, and plastic over-wrap for paper towels, toilet paper, and water bottles can all be recycled and repurposed.  The Trex Company takes these thin film plastics and repurposes them to make their outdoor decking and benches.  As many of you are aware, the BHEC has placed Trex collection bins around town in the following five locations, to make it easy for residents to drop off their thin film plastics: (1) Library; (2) Pet Supplies Plus; (3) YMCA; (4) Police Station; and (5) Governor Livingston High School.  

Trex bins are part of the Trex recycling and repurposing supply chain.  The “dropped off” thin film plastics in each Trex bin need to be collected, weighed, and transported to ACME in New Providence.  ACME then sends these plastics to an aggregator who then ships the repurposed plastic product to the Trex Company at their Virginia headquarters. In particular, the shuttling of the thin film plastics from our Trex bins in Berkeley Heights to ACME is a critical link in this thin film plastics supply chain.  Since June 2018, members of the BHEC and other volunteers – from the Recreation Commission, Girl Scout troops, Start with Hello, and the Rotary Club - have collected, weighed, and shuttled approximately 4,700 pounds of thin film plastics to ACME.  For these efforts, we have earned six Trex benches for our community.

The BHEC has put their five Trex bins noted above up for adoption.  Adopting a Trex bin means permanently taking over the collection, weighing, and delivery responsibilities for one Trex bin.  As a Trex bin “parent,” businesses, civic groups, families, or individuals can play a critical role in the thin film plastics recycling process and supply chain, on Earth Day and beyond.   

There are many other benefits associated with adopting a Trex bin, too.  For instance, those who adopt a Trex bin can (1) help earn free benches from for a Berkeley Heights park or school, (2) help our town and our planet by aiding in the repurposing of single-use thin film plastics, and (3) place their name or logo on the bin to promote their brand and be recognized for their efforts.  Plus, unlike an adopted pet, an adopted Trex bin does not need to be housebroken, go on walks, or eat special food several times a day. 

At this time, Dr. Patrick Smith of Smith Chiropractic Family Care & Sports Injury Center and Laurianne Tussel-Hosten of RE/MAX Achievers have already stepped forward and have adopted the Trex bins at Pet Supplies Plus and the Library, respectively. 

If you, your business, or a civic group to which you belong is interested in adopting a Trex bin, please contact the BHEC at EC@bhtwp.