Fanwood and Scotch Plains Green Teams Join Forces for TREX Challenge

(above, l-r) Contributors and supporters at the Trex bin at Fanwood Borough hall, Elizabeth Stamler, Councilwoman, Scotch Plains; Margaret Heisey, Deputy Municipal Manager, Scotch Plains; Dave Scordato, Fanwood Green Team; Caleb Cohen, Fanwood Green Team; Patricia Walsh, Fanwood Councilwoman; Katherine Mitchell, Fanwood Councilwoman; Pat Hoynes, Fanwood; Frank DiNizo, Director, Public Works Scotch Plains.

Trex Thin Film Plastics Recycling Program

Submitted by Margaret Heisey

How do you turn 500 pounds of thin film plastic into a high-performance park bench for Fanwood and Scotch Plains?

By participating in the Trex Thin Film Plastics Recycling Challenge!

The Fanwood and Scotch Plains Green Teams are joining forces to reduce these plastics in the waste stream and invite all residents to participate in the Trex Challenge, which will run from February 1 – August 15, 2020.

Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr commented, “I’m thrilled that our local Green Teams are taking on this task – these plastics are a real threat to the environment and reducing this waste is something I know we can achieve if we work together.”

Scotch Plains Councilwoman Elizabeth Stamler is also excited to be a part of the project, “We are taking recycling one step further and upcycling these plastics; turning them into benches for our towns.” She added, “Engaging residents from both towns, students in our schools and our community partners makes this a true SPF collaboration.”

Mayor Al Smith added, “This program is another example of how we can come together to improve health and wellness in our community. The Mayors Wellness Campaign has declared that one of the pillars of health is creating community wellbeing; making sure your municipality preserves open space, recycles, is walkable, reduces waste, and promotes a healthy environment that supports the health and prosperity of your residents. By reducing and recycling these plastics, we are addressing that pillar.”

A total of 10 Trex Challenge Bins are being stationed at various locations around the towns, including the Fanwood Borough Hall, the Fanwood Library, the Fanwood Train Station, the Scotch Plains Municipal Building, Scotch Plains Police Department, Scotch Plains DPW (Plainfield Ave), Scotch Plains Library, the Shady Rest Clubhouse, the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA & the JCC of Central Jersey, and the Fanwood Larder.

“Thin film plastics” are everyday items that generally fall into the following three categories: from the grocery store: produce bags, bread bags, grocery bags, cereal box bags, ice bags; from your pantry: Ziploc and other resealable bags, plastic wrap, case over-wrap (the plastic covering over a case of soup cans, toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, water bottles, etc.); from your front door: newspaper sleeves, dry cleaning bags/plastic wrap, plastic bags from clothing or other stores, bubble wrap, clear plastic wrapping around stationary boxes or other boxes.

All of these items are acceptable for Trex Challenge purposes.

When you accumulate thin film plastics, please drop them off in one of the TREX bins. All plastics must be clean, dry, and free of food residue. Only items placed in TREX bins will count toward the Trex Challenge.

By participating in this effort, you not only help to keep thousands of pounds of waste out of landfills, but you’re also helping to create beautiful and environmentally responsible outdoor products.

If you are interested in joining the Scotch Plains Green Team, please contact Carla Kelly at For the Fanwood Green Team, please contact Pat Hoynes at 908-322-8236 x 121.

(above) One of the ten Trex bins that are placed around Fanwood and Scotch Plains.

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