Rather than throwing out those non-recyclable black plastic takeout containers, you can donate them to Fridgeport, an outdoor community food pantry in Bridgeport that can use them to serve families in need.

“We serve about 1,000 families a week, so the (containers) are important and so needed,” said Aida Rivera, manager of the Kingdom Builders Impact Ministries food pantry. 

Fridgeport uses the plastic containers to break down the trays of food they are given into individual portions to hand out. The pantry sees single mothers coming to the pantry in the middle of the night because they are embarrassed to ask for food, said Rivera.

Fridgeport, along with volunteers with the Stamford-based Food Rescue US, are asking residents to turn in their black plastic containers either directly to the food pantry, which is located next to the chapel at 219 James Street, or to a collection bin placed outside of the Easton Public Library entrance during operating hours.

Drop off for plastic containers at Easton Public Library

Diane Geisert, Food Rescue’s sustainability liaison, will pick up the containers from the library weekly and deliver them to Fridgeport. 

“They are in constant need of any kind of plastic or aluminum containers–anything that is clean and that you can put food in,” said Geisert.

All donated containers should be washed clean and ready for use, preferably but not requiring the corresponding lid.

The black plastic containers might seem recyclable, as they do have a recycling triangular arrow logo on the bottom, but beginning last year they are no longer accepted in Connecticut’s mixed recycling program. In June 2021, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection decided that black plastic containers should be taken off the IN list and moved to the OUT list. Black plastic items include mushroom, and frozen food trays and nursery/plant pots.

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