January 10, 2020

From Public Nuisance to Public Parks - Sustainability at Work

If you ever clicked on the “About” section on the Beekley Medical website, the first sentence you will see reads “A focus on making the lives of everyone we touch a little better.”

That philosophy extends well beyond the people we directly touch, such as our customers and the patients we both serve. It also applies to our local community, whether it’s our annual Earth Day cleanup, participating in a Habitat for Humanity build, or more recently donating what could be plastic bag waste to our local public works department to be turned into park benches.

Bags to Benches Public Challenge 

As a Park Commissioner for the city of Bristol (CT), I was aware that the Bristol Public Works Department accepted the Trex plastic film recycling challenge to collect 500lbs of plastic film within a 6 month period. If the goal of 500lbs is reached, the city will receive a bench made of recycled plastic film to be placed in on of our local parks.bench made of recycled plastic film

This program is a win-win for the community as it removes potential plastic film waste from the environment, offsets the new costs of recycling municipalities in Connecticut now have to pay, and it provides a giveback to our residents who enjoy our parks.

Beekley Medical was one of several local organizations who stepped up to make this goal a reality – thanks in part to our Bella Blankets® protective coverlets customers. Manufacturing batches of Bella Blankets are stored in bags until they are ready to be boxed up and added into inventory. Because it is such a popular product, we probably go through 8-10 bags a day.

From landfill to land beautification?  It's win-win for business and community 

recycle program, Bristol, CTThese bags would normally add to the municipality’s waste recycling burden, but the Trex challenge presented an opportunity to give back to our community and help the environment in a unique and novel way.

With 4 more months to go, the public works department has already met its collection goal of 500lbs- enough for one park bench and are working towards another.

I believe that with the help of companies like Beekley supporting the efforts of our town and its citizens, collecting 1000lbs of plastic film is entirely achievable. Our parks are some of the best around and offer a variety of activities appealing to young and old. The benches will make a wonderful addition!


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Cynthia Donovan

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