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From the creation of Lions Park many years ago to today's Sensory Garden at the Port of Olympia, Olympia Lions have a long history of working to protect our local environment. Olympia Host Lions started the first newspaper recycling effort in Olympia in the mid-1940s. Today we manage environmental projects to recycle paper bags for use by the Food Bank, used eyeglasses for use overseas, and soft plastic film for remanufacture into decking and outdoor furniture.
Olympia Host Lions are keeping thousands of pounds of plastic film out of Puget Sound and out of our landfills each year.
In a partnership with the Thurston County Food Bank, local businesses, the PARC Foundation and Trex, Olympia Host Lions collect plastic film for recycling in our plastic film recycling project. The plastic produce bags, commercial overwrap, reclosable food storage bags and bubble wrap includes many products that cannot be recycled in the local municipal waste stream.
Lions collect plastic film from our partner drop off locations and sort it carefully to make sure only recyclable material is sent to Trex. Sorting parties each afternoon at the Food Bank warehouse get the film sorted and rebagged for shipment. The sorted film is weighed and transported to citywide collection sites for transport to the Trex recycler.
Plastic collected by Olympia Host Lions is shipped to Trex to be recycled into decking and outdoor furniture. In return, Trex donates outdoor benches to the Lions for use in our community.
Olympia Lions order benches in a beautiful and distinctive forest green. Benches arrive unassembled and the Lions assemble them, add a signature plaque and deliver to the new location.
Each bench requires the collection of at least 500 pounds of plastic film in a 6 month period and is valued by Trex at $400 plus.
Lions have donated benches to schools for use as buddy benches where children can sit to signal they are feeling lonely and would like someone to join them. The benches also find their way into parks, fire stations and other community centers.
You can find Lions benches at
Just collect your clean and dry plastic film products and drop off at a collection site near your home or business. See list of acceptable film products here.
You can find a collection site at the following locations - or call us at 360 790-8667 to find a collection bin near you.
Give us a call to learn how just a few hours a month can help keep plastic film out of Puget Sound.
In general, we recycle soft plastic film products that stretch. Recyclable items include
Please note - bags must be clean and dry.
Download a complete list of acceptable film products below.
Businesses often generate a lot of plastic film waste. If your business receives bulk goods or furniture wrapped in plastic film, contact us about keeping that plastic out of your waste stream.
Recycling plastic film or serving as a drop off site can help your business qualify for the Thurston Green Business award. Learn more about Thurston Green here.
We pick up plastic film from businesses like
Question: How many plastic bags does it take to make 500 pounds of plastic film?
Answer: The Lions have to collect the equivalent of 40,500 thin film bags to recycle 500 pounds of plastic.
Question: How can I help with the Lions plastic film recycling project?
Answer: Volunteers help with plastic sorting, pick up from donation sites, delivery to city wide collection points, recruiting new donation sites, publicity, and record keeping. Just call or message us - we welcome your help!
Lions Park is a large city park bordered by 7th, 9th, Wilson and Fredrick streets in Olympia.
In 1942, the land was brush and debris but Lions envisioned a playground for neighborhood youngsters. When the idea was accepted by the Olympia City Council, club members went to work to clear the land and install needed equipment.
Today, the park has undergone several transformations but still stands as a living tribute to the civic pride and hard work of the Lions.
If you walk along the Budd Bay walking trail at the JKL docks of Swantown Marina, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the Lions Sensory Garden.
A partnership with the Port of Olympia which provides the land and water, this garden project includes flowers and herbs for people to smell even though they may not be able to see.
Lions provide the labor to plant and maintain the garden - Monthly garden parties are fun and gratifying as people walking by stop to say thanks for creating a beautiful and peaceful space.
If you would like to get your hands dirty with the Lions on this and other environmental projects, give us a call!
Working with the Olympia Downtown Alliance, Lions lend a hand where needed to make our town more welcoming.
Lions have been called on to help out during annual downtown cleanup days by sweeping streets, painting out graffiti or repairing park benches donated years ago by the Lions.
Olympia Host Lions partner with the PARC Foundation, Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater, Griffin and Yelm school districts and park departments to celebrate Earth Day each year with community cleanup of local parks.
The multi-park clean up projects include a contest for schools based on student and parent participation.
Lions fund prizes for winning schools, provide t-shirts for participants, and staff refreshment tables at each location.
Olympia Host Lions support the Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center (LERC) in Lacey. Each year, local Lions collect and process thousands of pairs of used eyeglasses for reuse in developing countries.
Glasses are collected from the public in boxes at sites all around town. At the LERC, Lions and friends sort the incoming glasses, clean them, read prescriptions and package each pair with labels for shipment out with mission groups to sites around the world.
To help out or for a list of places where you can drop off used eyeglasses, call the Lions EyeLine at 360 790-8667
The Steamboat Branch of Olympia Host continually collect clean paper and heavy plastic grocery bags for re-use by the Food Bank to distribute food.
The plastic bag recycling project involves a partnership with the Griffin Fire Department which provides space for storing bags and help with loading up. Another good example of the community working together.
Olympia Host Lions meet Tuesdays at noon at the First Baptist Church downtown Olympia. Plenty of Parking at 9th and Franklin.
Call for info at 360 790-8667.
Steamboat Branch Lions meet the first Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at Griffin Fire Hall #1 on the Steamboat Island Road.