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Residents in New Mexico city are trading plastic bags for park benches

By: By Kerri Jansen
WASTE & RECYCLING NEWS

March 6, 2013

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Residents in Las Cruces can now turn in recyclable plastic bags to help the city get new park benches, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported.

The new program, sponsored by alternative-material outdoor furnishing company Trex Co., was launched two weeks ago and will continue through at least August. Residents can recycle grocery and department store bags, dry cleaning bags, bread and produce bags, newspaper sleeves and even Ziploc bags and bubble wrap, the article indicates. For every 30,000 items collected, the city will receive a new park bench.

City officials report the program is "starting to catch fire" among residents, growing to include six drop-off locations throughout the city.

"Judging by the response we've had so far, I'd say there's more and more residents who want to help," Udell Vigil, city public information officer, told the news agency.

The South Central Solid Waste Authority is also on board, according to spokeswoman Suzanne Michaels.

"There's no competition here; we're all recycling and that's a very good thing. This is a neat project," she reportedly said.