FirstEnergy Green Teams Collect More Than 1,500 Pounds of Plastic in NexTrex Challenge

nextrex recycling

Just in time for Earth Day, a group of FirstEnergy employees in West Virginia and Ohio came together to tackle the nationwide NexTrex challenge, and they did not disappoint. 

For the past six months, the dedicated employee volunteers teamed up with local schools to collect more than 1,500 pounds of plastic waste, including items like bubble wrap, bread bags and shipping envelopes, to promote sustainability and reduce plastic waste.

The NexTrex challenge provides a platform for communities to join forces and make a real impact on the environment. The collected plastic materials are sent to a NexTrex processing facility, where they are transformed into composite decking materials that provide a durable and eco-friendly alternative to traditional building materials.

Mon Power’s Green Team, comprised of employee volunteers from FirstEnergy and its subsidiary Mon Power, sponsored East Fairmont High School and collected 533 pounds of plastic materials, the equivalent of more than 40,000 plastic bags. Their dedication and hard work earned them a third-place finish in the U.S. out of 780 participating schools.

Green Teams from two other FirstEnergy subsidiaries, Ohio Edison and Toledo Edison, also sponsored schools in their local communities for this challenge. Ohio Edison's team sponsored St. Mary’s Catholic School in Mansfield, collecting nearly 1,250 pounds of plastic materials and earning the school a $2,500 prize. Toledo Edison's team sponsored Maumee High School, where they collected 163 pounds.

The Green Teams took the initiative to collect plastic bags and materials from their offices, warehouses, and service centers across their areas. They also set up collection bins at local businesses, inviting customers to drop off their plastic bags. The bags were then transported to the participating schools, where students helped sort and pack them for recycling.

“The challenge is a testament to the power of community and teamwork to make a significant impact on our planet,” said Jessica Shaffer, environmental scientist at FirstEnergy. “Our Green Teams joined national efforts to keep 421,623 pounds of plastic out of the landfills and that is something we are very proud of.”

This is just one of the many initiatives organized and implemented by FirstEnergy’s Green Teams, groups of employee volunteers committed to supporting environmental initiatives across the company’s six-state footprint. The teams also devote their time and resources to programs like tree-planting events, electronics recycling and beach cleanups.

Looking forward, the Green Teams plan to continue partnering with schools, state park systems, watershed and recycling groups, garden clubs and other environmentally-focused organizations to support the company's commitment to building a brighter and more sustainable future.

For more information on FirstEnergy's environmental and corporate responsibility efforts, visit


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Last Modified: May 1, 2023