Apr 29, 2021
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Brightmark is known for its impact on the environment through its mission of taking plastic waste and converting it to fuels and wax at its plant that’s been running for about a year.

On Thursday, as part of a postponed Earth Day event, Brightmark employees fanned out across Ashley, picking up trash — particularly plastic — and planting trees.

“We’re definitely picking up the plastic,” said Tina Walters, human resources director at the Ashley plant.

Even the plastic buckets that the 25 large trees arrived in from Franz Nursery, Hamilton, would get put through the Brightmark plant that is the first of its kind to take plastic and recycle it into fuels, wax and even new plastic feed stock.

Ashley town employees helped with distribution of the trees that were planted on the grounds of the Ashley Community Center — the former Ashley Elementary School — and in Sunset Park.

The theme of the day was “Leave It Better Than We Found It.” That slogan was printed on special Earth Day 2021 t-shirts Brightmark employees were sporting for the event.

About 20 of Brightmark’s 51-person labor force took part in the event. The trees planted included maple, redbud, four varieties of apple, crabapple and birch.

The company is in the process of hiring more employees — Walters said they need 30 more people for the plant that became fully operational late last year and plans to be a full capacity this summer.

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