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Committed to Protecting the Environment, Great Neck South Middle School Sets Bottle Cap Collection Record

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Committed to Protecting the Environment, Great Neck South Middle School Sets Bottle Cap Collection Record
North Hempstead, NY – Supervisor Jon Kaiman and the North Hempstead Town Board recently announced that Great Neck South Middle School will be awarded a citation for collecting a record amount of bottle caps last month, topping 49 other schools to win the second annual “May We Have Your Caps Back” Contest.

During May, when 49 schools throughout North Hempstead compete to see who collects the most caps, Great Neck Middle School hauled in a total of 150 pounds of caps. That was in addition to the 300 pounds the school collected during the Town’s Earth Day Contest in April.

To put Great Neck’s monumental effort into perspective, in a typical month, the 9 school districts participating in the Town’s Comprehensive School Recycling program—combined with those collected from Town buildings and Nassau Coliseum—reaps an average of 300 pounds of caps.

Notre Dame of New Hyde Park earned second place with 100 pounds of caps, and Manhasset High School finished third with 75 pounds.

“The Town of North Hempstead recognizes the importance of safeguarding the environment, as well as encouraging our youth to become stewards of the environment,” Supervisor Kaiman said. “By conveying this message to our youth, we continue to make strides towards maintaining the enviable quality of life our residents enjoy now and in the future.”

Over recent years, municipalities have discouraged the recycling of plastic bottle caps because plastic soda and water bottles are made from a different type of plastic than the caps, which are most commonly made from polypropylene, which melts at a different temperature during recycling.

North Hempstead is the first municipality in the country to recycle plastic caps, partnering with Estee Lauder’s Aveda Division which uses the recycled caps to package its products. “This Caps Back Program is a great way to teach students the importance of taking responsibility to protect the environment and ultimately the quality of life for future generations,” said Councilwoman Lee Seeman.

Nassau County Legislator Judi Bosworth, who represents this district, and was formerly President of the Great Neck Public Schools Board of Education, said, “Plastic bottle caps can litter our oceans, streams and beaches, and be a harm to birds and other mammals who ingest them. By recycling these caps, the great young leaders at Great Neck South Middle School have helped protect our environment and our wildlife.”

The “‘May’ We Have Your Caps Back” Contest is just one of the many green initiatives conducted by the Town. Others include a video contest for discouraging the use of plastic bags, the S.T.O.P Event that promotes an environmentally friendly way to dispose of household hazardous waste, and the annual EcoFest celebration at the Clark Botanical Garden, among others.
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