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Recycled Plastic Is a Welcome Addition

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Workers installed the last of 10 new signs Friday, wrapping up a citywide campaign to turn garbage into a warm welcome.

In January, residents began collecting plastic milk cartons, soda bottles and even shampoo and lotion containers, bringing in seven tons of material. The plastic was melted down into material for the new “Welcome to Fountain Valley” monument signs that appear at strategic locations.

“The community’s cooperative efforts continuously help to remind each of us that recycling really does work,” Mayor George B. Scott said. “By dealing innovatively with today’s trash, we can create a healthy environment for tomorrow.”

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Residents responded wholeheartedly to the 11-week campaign to collect recyclable plastic. Schools even held competitions to collect the most refuse, said Susan Lynn, the city’s environmental programs manager who spearheaded the project.

The material was then converted into “plastic lumber” that forms the base of the blue-on-white signs, which inform passing motorists that the city is “a nice place to live.”

As they cross municipal boundaries, drivers read that “Fountain Valley has a sure sign that recycling works.”

The signs also acknowledge a $23,650 grant from the state’s Department of Conservation that helped pay for the project. The city contributed about $20,000 to the plastic endeavor, the first of its kind in the state, officials said.

The new plastic signs replaced weather-beaten wooden monuments that had seen better days, officials said.

“This will probably last forever unless a car comes and hits it,” said Charlie Walther, a public works manager, as he watched the last sign going up.

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