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PHES helping homeless with recycling project

LEXINGTON — Students at Pleasant Hill Elementary School are giving plastic bags new life through an innovative community service project.

Teaming up with local senior citizens and Columbia-area representatives of Operation Bedroll, PHES students recycle plastic bags, converting them into bedrolls for homeless individuals. The groups hope to assist approximately 200 individuals in Lexington and Richland counties, many of them veterans, who need shelter from the elements.

As students collect plastic bags from home, they cut and tie them into long strings of plastic yarn, or “plarn.” The school then delivers the material to senior assisted living facilities, where residents crochet the plarn into large mats.

The result is a light and portable mat that can make the temperature feel 20 degrees warmer than sleeping on the ground or on cardboard.

To date, PHES students have created enough plarn to make four bedrolls. Spanish Teacher Maura A. Farley said the school plans to continue the project indefinitely.

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