Bottle Caps making a difference in Joplin

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JOPLIN, MO — A Joplin hotel isn’t just taking care of it’s customers, and it’s also taking care of the environment.

Faithful recyclers often throw bottle caps in the trash, but not at the Marriott Towne Place Suites in Joplin where staff and visitors have been recycling plastic caps and many other items for a few years now.

“So this bench is made from 100 pounds of recycled plastic bottle caps, so something that is usually discarded, can’t recycle, so it’s a way to turn that into something useful,” says Miranda Comer, Area Operations Manager, O’Reilly Hospitality.

Sales manager Shannon Barstow recently took a truck loaded with 200 lbs. worth of plastic caps to a recycling center all the way up in Iowa and didn’t come home empty handed. She says, “So I load them up and take them there, they sort through them and then they give us the two benches.”

Enough caps have been collected in recent years between the hotel and their partner the East Newton School District to make four benches, two each at the hotel and two to the school district.
The facility now generates some of their own electricity and was among the first to offer electric refueling for customers. Comer says, “We have bulk shower dispensers in our rooms, we have recycling in the public places and we recently transition away from all plastic in our gift shop so we only have aluminum and glass.” And they’re getting reputation across the country for their environmental efforts. Comer went on to say, “We’ve had a guest who travels as far away as Boston bring a bag of plastic caps with him on the plane in his suitcase and bring them in and say I’ve been saving these for you guys.”

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