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Help build a plastic water bottle boat at the Tempe Public Library

Raise awareness of recycling, need for water for homeless

Post Date:05/13/2013
Reuse, repurpose, recycle. What can you do with an empty water bottle? Well, if you have 150 of them, you can build a canoe that really floats.

Visit the Tempe Public Library on Saturday, May 18 and help build a canoe out of bottles donated by ReCommunity, Tempe’s recycling provider. Library visitors may also get a sneak peek at the Summer Reading Program at 11 a.m.

Tempe’s Sun Valley Community Church Student Ministries will lead the project. Those interested in helping should meet at 10:30 a.m. in Meeting Room B at the Tempe Public Library. The bottles and glue will be waiting, along with a knowledgeable project coordinator, Dave Robinson, to help move things along.

This would not be the first time a boat like this has been built. The Plastiki, a 60-foot catamaran made of more than 12,500 bottles, sailed across the Pacific Ocean with a crew of six in 2010.

The canoe will be on display at the Tempe Public Library from May 30 – July 27, a visual reminder to reuse and recycle. It’s also the centerpiece of the Water for Fines program, a way to help hydrate the homeless during the dangerous summer heat.

From May 30- July 27, for every bottle of water or item of non-perishable food brought to the Tempe Public Library, the City of Tempe will take a dollar off patron’s tabs for overdue materials. To encourage generosity, a case of water will be counted as $30. The water will go to the Tempe Community Council for use at Hydration Stations.

People who don’t have fines will be entered into a drawing for great prizes donated by Tempe companies.

“Waiving fees at this time of year is so important,” Library and Cultural Services Director Barbara Roberts said. “We want everyone to be able to participate in our Summer Reading Program and if people have unpaid fees, they can’t check out books.”

The Summer Reading Program is for everyone, from infants whose parents read aloud to them to adults.

About ReCommunity
ReCommunity recovers and processes close to two million tons of valuable, reprocessed, reusable materials every year. It is the largest, most-complete resource recovery-operation in the nation. The company’s efforts have reduced landfill space by 2.6 million cubic yards, which is the same as 520,000 truckloads or half the size of the Hoover Dam.

About Tempe Community Council
Tempe Community Council, a local non-profit organization, provides services for the people of Tempe. These services include housing, financial literacy, human service referrals, children’s programs and more.

About the Tempe Public Library
The Tempe Public Library receives more than 750,000 visitors each year and has one of the country’s largest children’s programs. Beyond storytime and book clubs, the library offers a relaxing café, computer classes, classes for using e-readers, author visits and a variety of programs relevant to your life. Discover more about the Tempe Public Library at or visit at 3500 S. Rural Road.
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