The Hilliard Environmental Sustainability Commission is calling on all children, parents, teachers, coaches, businesses and group leaders to help with a special plastic bottle-cap and lid recycling collection.

The goal is to collect enough caps and lids to turn them into benches through Green Tree Plastics' ABC Program in honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day next year.

The 100 percent recycled-material benches will be dedicated at Hilliard's Earth Day celebration April 25, 2020.

We need the community's help in collecting plastic drink caps from items like sports-drink, water and pop bottles, as well as plastic lids and tops from coffee cans, peanut-butter jars, butter tubs, ketchup bottles and tops from deodorant and liquid laundry detergents.

Caps and lids must be recycle numbers 2, 4 or 5. Metal, pumps or fast-food cup lids, any lid that is more than 8 inches in diameter or items with food debris will not be accepted.

"We are excited about this recycling collection because it is bringing the entire community together," said Kim Movshin, an ESC member and Earth Day event coordinator. "We hope to collect enough caps and lids to get several benches for the community to enjoy and commemorate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day."

Several hundred pounds of caps and lids are needed through December 2019. That is a lot, but ESC members are excited about this project and know the Hilliard community can meet this goal. Anyone can help, including families, schools, groups, sports teams, youth groups, day care centers and offices. Start collecting caps immediately and drop off them off at the Hilliard Community Center, 3800 Veterans Memorial Drive.

The ESC will post monthly updates on how the collection is going via the Go Green Hilliard Facebook page, so make sure to follow us on Facebook. The collection ends in December, and we hope to have enough plastic at that time to purchase a few benches.

In addition to the bottle-cap and lid collection, the ESC has several other recycling collections at the community center.

Two TerraCycle collections will be held for candy and snack wrappers (candy, chips, granola bars and other snacks), and the Tom's of Maine Natural Care Recycling Program will accept any brand of toothpaste tubes, toothbrushes, mouthwash containers, deodorant containers, soap packaging and floss containers.

We also collect markers and crayons and are looking into single-use, alkaline battery collection (AA, AAA, C, D and 9-volt varieties). Please drop off these items at the community center.

Follow GoGreenHilliard.com's blog to keep up to date on all recycling-collection information.

For more information on Green Tree Plastics' cap and lid program, including more examples of acceptable caps and lids, go to greentreeplastics.com/abc-program.

Go to terracycle.com for more information on candy wrappers and acceptable items for Tom's of Maine.

Kristen Hosni is a member of the Hilliard Environmental Sustainability Commission.