Home News Local News MainStreet Roswell receives grant for benches project

MainStreet Roswell receives grant for benches project

MainStreet Roswell and its community partners already have received 30 benches made from recycled bottle caps, with delivery occurring May 22. The nonprofit recently received a grant to be used toward the continuation of the “Bottle Caps to Benches” project. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

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MainStreet Roswell has received a $12,600 AARP Community Challenge Grant for its community bench project.

The grant from the group formerly known as the American Association for Retired Persons will be used to continue the community collaboration started in 2019 to make new benches for the Roswell area by collecting and recycling plastic bottle caps.

According to an announcement issued Wednesday from MainStreet Roswell, the AARP Community Challenge Grant is intended to make tangible improvements to communities that jump-start long-term change. The program is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative, which supports the efforts of cities, towns, neighborhoods and rural areas to become great places to live for people of all ages.

The “Bottle Caps to Benches” project involves MainStreet Roswell; the city of Roswell; two local schools, All Saints Catholic School and Immanuel Lutheran School; and Green Tree Plastics LLC of Indiana, which has the ABC Promise Partnerships Program to create commercial benches from recycled items.

Some of the other organizations that have participated include J&A Recycling, Roswell Seed, Hawk’s Automotive, Roswell Chamber of Commerce, Southwest Printers, Walgreen’s North, CVS Pharmacy, Cielo Grande Veterinary and Nature’s Dairy (Greathouse Family).

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According to the MainStreet Roswell announcement, 200 pounds of bottle caps are needed to make a 6-foot bench. The costs are $250 for a gray bench and $300 for a color bench. MainStreet Roswell indicated that the typical cost of a commercial bench is $1,200.

Bianca Cheney, who heads the project and is the liaison between local organizations and Green Tree Plastics, thanked the community for its involvement, including the school children who are learning about recycling, as well as math concepts.

“I am super-excited that people of Roswell have pulled together to add beautiful, colorful, durable benches to our community,” Cheney said. “As long as I’ve lived here, I believed Roswell was a volunteer-minded city. This project reinforces that belief because we’ve had school students and extended families, a church youth group, local businesses including J&A Recycling, and civic groups working toward this goal. Hopefully this fall, youth sports teams will start collecting caps to add these benches on their fields.”

The current project goal is a minimum of 46 benches. The project already has picked up 30 benches after more than 6,000 pounds of bottle caps were collected. Ten of the benches have been paid for. The benches are expected to be installed in the Roswell downtown district, at schools and along city walking trails.

For more information, call MainStreet Roswell at 575-914-8018 or visit its website at mainstreetroswell.org.

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