YORK, Pa. (WHTM) — The City of York is trying to eliminate all plastic waste by teaming up with a local company, and officials are coming up with more ways to get the community involved.

York Mayor Michael Helfrich says this is a goal decades in the making, and with this partnership, he says this is not just protecting the environment, it is making the city better too.

“The City of York’s goal is to be America’s first plastic waste-free city,” Helfrich announced Tuesday.

For him, the environment has always been a priority.

“I was the guy coming out in the muddy waders and hauling all this stuff out of the creek,” he said.

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However, Helfrich noticed a persistent problem: most of the waste was plastic, and it was plastic that could not be recycled.

“Plastic that’s going to landfill, that’s going to be incinerated or worse yet is leaking into the oceans and the rivers,” said Ross Gibby, COO of the Center for Regenerative Design and Collaboration (CRDC).

CRDC is the company that created The Bag That Builds program in 2022.

“All plastic, one bag, zero waste. You can put any type of plastic in the bag,” Gibby said.

CRDC takes that plastic and turns it into a sand-like material.

“We’re getting car bumpers, we’re getting coolers, plastic lawn chairs, kiddy pools, you name it,” Gibby described.

That material can then be used in concrete and asphalt — that is the “build” part of The Bag That Builds.

“Your effort of getting the green bag and putting plastics in builds houses for people,” Helfrich said.

CRDC started The Bag That Builds a year ago with just one drop-off site in York. The company has already collected 9,000 bags — about 20 tons of plastic waste.

“The engagement, the passion, the enthusiasm and the commitment to the bag that builds the program up to this point has been incredible,” Gibby said.

CRDC and York are working together to expand the program, creating three new spots where anyone can drop off their bags and get that plastic out of the environment.

“Make our footprint a little bit smaller and make our heart print a little bit bigger,” Helfrich said.

The three new drop-off sites are located here:

  • Odeon Field at Bantz Park
    339 S Richland Avenue
    York, Pa. 17404
  • Yorktown Park
    1089 Kelly Drive
    York, Pa. 17404
  • Bob Hoffman Stadium
    622 Rockdale Avenue
    York, Pa. 17403

Gibby said the company’s product, called Resin 8 is already going back into the community WellSpan York is using it in its hospital expansion, and Habitat for Humanity plans to use it in its houses as well.