The city is launching a recycling campaign next week to encourage residents and schoolchildren to collect plastic bottles for use in creating signs welcoming visitors to the city.
"The Great Fountain Valley Bottle Roundup" will begin Monday and will involve recycling old bottles for "plastic lumber." The plastic lumber will be the base material for 10 signs at the city's entrances and exits.
"This is a hands-on educational project," Susan Lynn, environmental programs manager, said. "The goal is to help the public see that beautiful new things can be made out of what once was refuse."
Lynn said 5 1/2 tons of plastic is needed to make the royal blue and white signs.
Collection bins are being placed at local schools and at Albertsons, Ralphs and Lucky grocery stores in the community through March 31, Lynn said. Schools will compete for prizes donated by local businesses, she said.
"This is the first project of its kind in California where the whole community works cooperatively to collect the plastic and convert the material into something that will make a new recycled product," Lynn said.
The campaign is part of the City Council's ongoing environmental education effort. "It's just another good example of why we should recycle and it helps us to meet our recycling needs," Mayor George B. Scott said.
Lynn said only certain plastics can be recycled for the project, including soda bottles, milk jugs, syrup and detergent containers. The desired plastics have the number 1 or 2 within the three recycling arrows on the container, she said.
The new signs cost nearly $49,000, and will paid for with a $23,650 grant from the State Department of Conservation's recycling division, a city contribution of $20,000 and community donations.