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Port Jeff Library Partners With Local Business To Recycle Bottle Caps

Arame Salon, Port Jefferson Library and the Library’s Teen Center are drop off points to recycle plastic bottle caps that are not accepted by the Town of Brookhaven recycling program.

The , the and will be drop off points to recycle plastic caps from items such as shampoo and soda bottles in the village for a new program promoted by the Friends of the Library called "Caps Off to Port Jefferson."

The caps are usually made from polypropylene plastic, categorized as a number five plastic in recycling programs. Number five plastic is not accepted by Brookhaven Town for recycling, which only accepts number one and two plastics according to the town’s website. The caps will be taken to a special recycling center in West Babylon where they will be made into packaging by Aveda, a company that makes cosmetics and hair care products.

The idea to promote recycling the plastic caps came when Linda Gavin from the Port Jefferson Library and Ron Schlumpf from Arame Salon and Spa both struck up a conversation at a meeting.

Gavin was watching a local news program when she saw a report about a school that had conducted a recycling drive to collect the number five plastic caps. Schlumpf, as the owner of a salon, knew about the recycling program through his business relationship with Aveda, which turns the caps into packaging for its products.

The two then conspired to start a plastic cap recycling program in the village. The program is promoted by the Friends of the Library, a nonprofit organization that runs the used bookstore on East Main Street and raises money to support the library in its mission.

Gavin said that she was looking for another way to get the library involved in the green movement. She enlisted the help of the library’s Teen Center for the kids to filter through the buckets of caps that have been dropped off to make sure they are the correct recyclable items.

“I wanted the kids to make them feel useful and not just dropping water bottle caps into a bucket,” said Gavin.

For the effort the kids will get a community service credit. 

“We like to keep the kids focused on new things,” she said.

Schlumpf has volunteered to periodically take the collected caps over to the recycling center, ACA Waste Services in West Babylon.

“Whether you have a bag or an 18-wheeler they’ll take it,” he said. “Aveda picks it up and makes it into product packaging.”

The library sent out a chart with its monthly newsletter showing the caps they take for recycling and the ones that they don’t accept. Milk, soda, shampoo, detergent and pharmaceutical bottle caps are on the good list of caps acceptable for recycling. Yogurt, margarine, spray pump and metal bottle caps are examples of caps they will not recycle through this program. There is also a chart available on Aveda’s website.

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