March 22, 2019 - 10:54am -- gottke.4

Join the Van Wert County 4-H Program in their initiative to replace the wooden benches around the fairgrounds with Green Tree Plastics 100% recycled material benches

We are using the ABC Promise Partnership Program and will be collecting through various methods until June 11, 2019 at our 4-H Chicken BBQ event.

Please consider collecting the eligible lids and turning them in to help us make the fairgrounds look beautiful with new benches to sit and enjoy during the fair!

List of accepted and unaccepted caps


The Van Wert County 4-H Program is participating in “A Bench for Caps” (ABC) program with Green Tree Plastics to help replace the wooden benches on the fairgrounds with 100% recycled plastic lumber made from caps, lids, and otherwise unusable plastic tops. Each 4-H Club in the county has been challenged to collect 250lbs of acceptable, clean caps to then be produced into an eight foot bench with a back. In addition to the plastic members will be fundraising or seeking donations to pay for the benches in the amount of $350.00 plus engraving costs.

The ABC Program is specifically designed for youth. Youth will be responsible for helping with collecting, sorting, and weighing caps to ensure that all the guidelines are met to submit to Green Tree Plastics for the bench production.

The benches produced from this program will be given permanent locations on the Van Wert County Fairgrounds for visitors to sit and enjoy. In the future the 4-H Program hopes to organize beautification of each bench area in a contest so everyone can benefit from the functionality and beauty of this project.

The ten-year goal is that 10 benches be added to the Fairgrounds each year as permanent seating. There are a number of ways the community can help 4-H’er achieve this goal! First, please collect items as listed from the acceptable plastic lid and cap list. Taking the time to rinse the lid will eliminate a lot of sanitary and smelly issues for us, so run it under the sink please. Fill up a grocery sack and give the caps and lids to any Van Wert County 4-H’er you know. Each 4-H club has their own piles of caps and are working to get their own 250lbs so it can be identified as their own bench. You can also drop the lids off at the Ohio State University Extension Office Monday-Friday from the hours of 8:00am-4:30pm located at the Fairgrounds or the Senior Fair Board Office.

Caps for 2019 benches will be collected until June 11, 2019 at the Chicken BBQ and can be dropped off at the drive-through or inside the commercial building at the fairgrounds. Caps without designation to a 4-H Club will be distributed to help make as many benches as possible.

Any person, business, or entity interested in helping with the project through collections or financial assistance can contact Heather Gottke at the Extension Office at (419) 238-1214 or by email at Through the community’s support and the power of the youth in 4-H here in Van Wert County we hope we can truly make a difference!