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One of the benches in question, Source: Ajuntament de Valencia

Valencia schools get benches made out of bottle caps

Valencia schools get benches made out of bottle caps

The project was marketed as one that increases safety

Have you heard of tactical urbanism? Many of the stories we share here on TheMayor.EU are about that approach to doing small things that improve city life perceptibly. Another recent example of that comes from the Spanish city of Valencia where there is the ongoing ‘Safe schools environment’ project.

A key part of it involved the installation of benches made out of recycled bottle caps. What this aims to achieve is to create more durable street furniture, and also to integrate real-life recycling examples into the educational environment. In that way, for kids growing up products made out of repurposed materials become the new normal and something to expect.

Post-consumer polyethylene

As for the structure of these benches, their sides are made of hot-dip galvanized steel, and the seat and backrest are made of 100% recycled post-consumer polyethylene (here is a new term we can get friendly with). They do not produce splinters or cracks, they are resistant to insects, such as worms or termites and have durability 5 times longer than wood. They are also resistant to graffiti. 

In addition, the weight of each bench is 35 kg which is the equivalent of 4,300 bottles. Meaning that prevents the incineration of the bottles and the dumping of extra CO² into the atmosphere or landfills.

The schools in which the improvements of the project 'Safe school environments' have already been carried out are the schools of Infant and Primary Education (CEIP) La Fontenta, in La Fontenta; Professor Sanchis Guarner and Antonio Machado, in Torrefiel; and Rodríguez Fornos, in the Safranar district. 

In all of these, the surrounding environment has been designed to match the look of the street furniture. In addition, this week these same actions will be carried out in two more centres - the CEIP Benimàmet and the CEIP Professor Sebastián Burgos.

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