It seems like a pretty simple collection drive that ultimately does big things for kids in need here in the Greater Utica area.  It's called 'Caps of Love' and the program that started in Florida, is the collection of plastic caps in many different variations that when delivered to recycling centers in bulk ultimately result in the purchase of wheel chairs which are then provided to needy children.

Lianne Nimey, a teacher at Christopher Columbus Elementary school in Utica brought the idea to her students and the simple concept has taken off.  Kids at her school and people throughout the area have collected thousands of caps; so many that three wheel chairs have already been purchased for local kids in need.

Nimey said that the program 'has taken off' at Columbus School and it has even spread to their family auto dealership. "My father in law is in a wheel chair so when I told him about this he said 'I want a box at the shop,' Nimey told WIBX's Keeler Show. Her husband and

'I want a box at the shop.'

father in law operate Nimey's New Generation Auto Sales on Dwyer Ave. in Utica. The drop box is located in the dealership's showroom.

Nimey said she also took the concept to the PTO meeting at her daughter's school, Bradley Elementary in New Hartford, and that school has now decided to collect for the cause, as well.

(Photo by Bill Keeler / Townsquare Media)
(Photo by Bill Keeler / Townsquare Media)

'Caps of Love,' according to the website, collects plastic caps and lids made of polypropylene #5 and polyethylene #2s and #4s. The distinction is located on the caps and lids. Only these plastics are eligible for donation. They're then turned in to recycling centers where the money paid per pound, helps to purchase wheelchairs for disabled children under the age of 21 in the USA. The collection also has an environmental benefit as discarded caps end up in landfills or are incinerated which emits pollutants into the atmosphere. Collection drives like these allow the plastics to be recycled for other uses.

Click here to find out which caps are accepted.

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