William Penn University Receives Build with Bags Grant

Penn Hall on the campus of William Penn University celebrated 100 years of serving the students during Homecoming 2017.

Penn Hall on the campus of William Penn University celebrated 100 years of serving the students during Homecoming 2017.

DES MOINES, Iowa –William Penn University located in Oskaloosa, Iowa, will soon have several new park benches courtesy of the Build with Bags grant program.

The Iowa Grocery Industry Association announced today that the plastic bag recycling program, being led by Iowa grocers, has awarded the William Penn University, $2,000 to purchase five new park benches that are made from recycled plastic bags by Plastic Recycling of Iowa.

The plastic bag program increases the number of plastic bags that are recycled. For example, one park 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. “The Build with Bags program continues to encourage 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 29 applications were submitted from which eight winners were selected by a committee of three representatives in support of the Build with Bags program. Each committee member individually scored applications. The scores were then combined for an overall point total. This year, the top eight applicants with the most points received grants totaling $14,505.20.

Now in its 11th year, the Build with Bags Grant program has awarded $340,066.42 in grants to more than 200 Iowa communities. 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 was a consideration as the committee sought to disperse the grant awards throughout the state.

Paul Fenton, chief of operationsforMahaska Bottlingin Oskaloosa and Gerad Curry, store manager at the Oskaloosa Hy-Vee store, each played an important role in making this grant possible. Fenton and Curry wrote letters of support on behalf of William Penn University that led to it being selected to receive a grant.

“While the endorsement letter was not the most weighted category in the selection process, it is one of the most vital to the Build with Bags program,” Hurd explains. “In the program committee’s eyes, it reflects how the applying community is working with its local grocers to establish long-term projects and goals that help raise the awareness of plastic bag recycling.”

Encouraging purchases of furniture and equipment made from recycled plastic for parks and schools through its grant program is one of four goals established by Build with Bags partners. The other three include increasing the number of plastic bags recycled, reducing consumption of plastic bags, and increasing the safe use of reusable bags.

The Oskaloosa Hy-Veeis one of many participating retailers, including Fareway Stores and Hy-Vee locations statewide plus many other independent grocers.

Build with Bags, a cooperative effort of the Iowa Grocery Industry Association, Keep Iowa Beautiful, Metro Waste Authority in Des Moines, Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Plastic Recycling of Iowa Falls, was originally launched in August 2009.

For more information on Build with Bags or its grant program opportunities, visit www.iowagrocers.com

Posted by on Jul 18 2020. Filed under Clubs and Organizations, Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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