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Recycled plastic park benches could save the city money

Made from lower grade plastics which usually end up in landfills
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Posted at 1:35 PM, Jun 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-24 12:29:59-04

A midtown Tucson neighborhood is getting a new park bench—made out of plastic that is normally trashed.

The building blocks are plastic that would have been buried in a landfill. Plastic building materials have been around for many years, but they usually require new plastic or plastic made from only certain recyclable plastics.

These blocks are made from lower grade plastics which usually end up thrown away.

This bench will end up covered in stucco with a window, allowing for a peek at the recycled plastic inside.

Ward Six Councilmember Steve Kozachik wants to see the City of Tucson start building with these blocks.

“We ought to be working with Republic Services to work a deal so that we're not sending the plastic off to be recycled," Kozachik said. "We're putting it into the blocker machine creating these blocks. And using these blocks instead of masonry blocks to build all the ramadas and things that we're putting into prop 407 amenities that are going into our parks."

Kozachik says the blocks cost about the same as a concrete block but they’re tougher and the city avoids the cost of burying the plastic in a landfill.

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Craig Smith is a reporter for KGUN 9. With more than 30 years of reporting in cities like Tampa, Houston and Austin, Craig has covered more than 40 Space Shuttle launches and covered historic hurricanes like Katrina, Ivan, Andrew and Hugo. Share your story ideas and important issues with Craig by emailing craig.smith@kgun9.com or by connecting on Facebook and Twitter.