The City of Los Angeles does not recycle plastic bottles from street trash, the Pacific Palisades Baseball Association does not recycle plastic bottles at the park and even the Palisades Business Improvement District, which cleans up trash on some streets, does not support bottle recycling.
In response, longtime resident Francesca Chase has come up with a novel approach. If one donates empty PLASTIC bottles with the CA CRV 5 cents on the label, she will recycle them and will donate the proceeds to purchasing food and diapers for the Westside Food Bank.
“I started Bottles for Babies when I learned that there are about 2,000 babies in urgent need of food and diapers and I knew I had to do something,” Chase told Circling the News. “I know what it is like to struggle as a single parent and have a baby depending on you.”
Soon after she discovered this need, the idea of using the proceeds from recycling bottles came to her, and Bottles for Babies was started.
Initially, Chase donated her own bottles and those from family and friends. She launched the program this past July 4, by donating 600 water bottles to parade goers.
“My goals include not only feeding the babies but to educate the community about recycling,” Chase said. “I call this my passion project.”
The former schoolteacher and now Keller Williams realtor said, “I do most of the work myself with a few friends. I maintain/collect/store the bottles and take them to a recycle center in Burbank (Santa Monica closed this summer).”
With the money collected, Chase buys baby food and diapers and delivers them to the Westside Food Bank.
Raised in the Huntington Palisades, by Phillip and Judith Chase, Francesca has two older sisters and a younger brother. She attended Corpus Christi and Palisades High School, before attending USC, where she received a degree in English literature and then a master’s degree in education and clinical psychology. She taught at Canyon Elementary School for 15 years, before switching to a career in psychotherapy.
“I raised my son Myles here as a single parent,” she said. He graduated from PaliHi last year and is now attending college for computer science.
Chase has lived the quintessential California lifestyle, participating in Junior Lifeguards, surfing, sailing, paddle boarding and bike riding, and now she hopes to interest other youth in this community in her Bottles for Babies project.
“I hope to get some PaliHi kids to help me out for their community service hours,” she said, “and other students who live in the Palisades who would like to help.”
The following locations will have boxes for depositing bottles. Please only plastic bottles, no trash.
Palisades Garden Cafe
Estate Coffee/Keller Williams
Palisades Woman’s Club
“I hope to have donation boxes at the Turkey Trot and at the Palisades Rec Center, but I am still waiting to get the okay,” Chase said. “Thank you for this opportunity to reach out to the community.”