Saint Leo Makes a Difference with Bottle Caps

October 27, 2016

Giving back to the community is a central part of life at Saint Leo University, and on National Make a Difference Day (October 22), students gathered to sort and prepare bottle caps for donation for the Caps of Love nonprofit organization.

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The Office of Residence Life conducts the Caps of Love program at Saint Leo, and Saint Leo Community Engagement organized the Make a Difference Day event to categorize the caps.

Students, faculty, and staff have collected bottle caps for Caps of Love, a Florida-based nonprofit organization that recycles plastic tops. The proceeds from recycling the plastic is used to purchase new and refurbished wheelchairs for children with mobility disabilities.


On Make a Difference Day, bottle caps were sorted and prepared for donation to a recycling facility in Kentucky, which gives the money from the recycling to Caps of Love. The goal of the organization is to “educate the public on how to identify and recycle correctly and to provide wheelchairs to the physically challenged under the age of 21,” in the United States, according to its website.

Saint Leo students sorted through the transparent and colored caps and separated them into three types. The main types of plastic Caps of Love recycles are: Polypropylene No. 5, Polyethylene No. 2, and Polyethylene No. 4.

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“It was amazing,” said Heidi D’Ambrosio, senior coordinator for Residence Life, about the event. “We had so many people come out to help.”

Last year, Saint Leo University donated 8,000 pounds of bottle caps, and 14 pallets containing the plastic was shipped by truck to the recycling facility.

“We already have enough for 14 pallets,” D’Ambrosio said. “And we don’t ship until March.” There are 15 offices at University Campus that have collection buckets for plastic caps.