The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

April 25, 2014

Exline Ramblers win Build with Bags grant

DES MOINES – The Exline 4-H Ramblers will have new benches courtesy of the Build with Bags program.

The plastic bag recycling program being led by Iowa grocers announced on Earth Day, April 22 that the Exline 4-H Ramblers is one of 13 recipients of a Build with Bags grant award in 2014 and will receive $2,000 to purchase new park benches for Exline City Park where the group holds its meetings.

The benches are made from recycled plastic bags by Plastic Recycling of Iowa. Each bench represents approximately 10,600 bags that won’t end up in the landfill.

“We are excited to announce the winners of the Build with Bags grant program,” says Michelle Hurd, president of the Iowa Grocery Industry Association. “Now in its fifth year, the Build with Bags program has exceeded our expectations in encouraging individuals to recycle their plastic bags so those bags can be turned into products that beautify our communities. This year’s grant winners are reaping the rewards of their recycling efforts, and we hope other communities will follow suit and expand their recycling efforts.”

A total of 45 applications were submitted from which 13 winners were selected by a committee of five representatives in support of the Build with Bags program. The top 13 applicants with the most points received grants totaling $23,989.

Applications were evaluated based on set criteria that included a statement of need for the grant and the community’s own plastic bag recycling efforts. Grant applicants were also asked to verify the recycled plastic content in the products they were looking to purchase and obtain an endorsement letter from a local grocer who is supportive of the community’s project and recycling plans. Geographic location also played a factor as the committee wanted to disperse the grant awards throughout the state of Iowa.

The Hy-Vee store in Centerville played an important role in making this grant possible. Store director Tom Crocker wrote a letter of support on behalf of the Exline 4-H Ramblers that led to the group being selected to receive a grant.

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