Iowa Grocers Build with Bags Grants in the News


Iowa Grocers Build with Bags Grants in the News

News stories have started popping up across the state after the Iowa grocer release winners of Build with Bags grants. Check out a couple from earlier this week … 

Build with Bags grants fund projects for schools and parks

Business Record

City parks and schools throughout Iowa will soon have new park benches, planters or picnic tables through funding from the Iowa Grocery Industry Association’s Build with Bags program. Fifteen Iowa communities will receive grants of up to $2,000 to purchase items made from recycled plastic bags. A single park bench made by Plastic Recycling of Iowa Falls is made from approximately 10,600 bags, which won’t end up in the landfill. The winning projects were selected from 35 applications to receive grants that total nearly $28,100. To see the list of winners, click here.



A good day for conservation

E-cycling event kept electronics, bags out of landfill

BY ANGIE HOLLAND Managing editor | Oskaloosa Herald

Photo: Angie Holland | The Herald. Over 256 pounds of bags were gathered at the MCG E-cycling event on Saturday, April 27. The bags, gathered by Friends of Mahaska County Conservation, will be used to make benches to be placed at the Environmental Learning Center and other areas.     

OSKALOOSA — Mother Nature wasn’t very amenable to people doing their part to keep recyclable items out of the landfill.

On a cool, rainy Saturday morning, volunteers from MCG, Clow, 4-H and FFA, Trees Forever and Friends of Mahaska County Conservation converged on the MCG parking lot to take old electronics off the hands of Oskaloosa and Mahaska County residents.

Large cardboard boxes placed on wooden pallets were quickly filled up with old televisions, dvd players, printers, fax machines and other items.

A steady stream of automobiles passed through the parking lot, dropping off bags and electronics. The drivers and passengers stayed warm and dry, while volunteers scurried to take the items off their hands.

MCG Sales Representative Eddie Pierson said the weather wasn’t keeping people away.

“And it doesn’t keep our volunteers away either,” he said, “that’s’ a good thing.”

MCG Assistant General Manager Steve Burnett said the event was busier than it was last year.

“It’s great to see everybody come and get the stuff to put in there,” he said. “It’s great to keep it out of the landfill.”

MCG Sales Representative Eddie Pierson said he hadn’t seen as many of the big old televisions yet that morning, but there was still a lot of stuff coming through.

“MCG and Clow partner together to keep all this stuff out of the landfill,” he said. “The TVs with the chemicals and stuff and those tubes, they wreak havoc on our environment. We want to make sure that they’re not getting in the landfill.”

Burnett said he has heard a misconception that the dropped off items are being sold.

“We pay tens of thousands of dollars to get rid of it,” he said. “It’s just a service we do the community. I want to make sure people understand we don’t sell this. We’re paying to get rid of it.”

Burnett said in the past 10 years, over half a million pounds have been recycled thanks to the event.

Rodney Anderson, with Friends of Mahaska County Conservation, said the bag gathering business was booming. Anderson and his group greeted drivers, took their bags if they had any and sent them on down the line.

Anderson said 256-1/2 pounds of plastic bags were collected at the E-cycle event.

“It takes roughly 82 bags to make one pound so that means we collected approximately 21,033 bags,” he said.

It was announced on Earth Day that the Friends group would be recipients of a $2,000 Building with Bags grant, through the Iowa Grocers Association. The money and recycled bags will be used to make benches.

Friends of Mahaska County Conservation President Mary Jane Sullivan said there will be more opportunities to drop off plastic bags, including at Art on the Square.

“This has been great,” she said. “And getting the Build with Bags grant is great, because we’ll be able then to get the three benches that we need out at Caldwell, but we also intend to put some in some of the other parks so they’ll have them.”

Sullivan said the plan is to continue to partner with the E-cycle event annually and continue to gather plastic bags.

“It’s a good day for conservation,” she said.



Build with Bags recycling Iowa Grocery Industry Association Grant