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Senior center goes green with coffee mugs

Patrons at the Tanner Park Senior Center in

Patrons at the Tanner Park Senior Center in Copiague enjoy coffee Friday using mugs the Town of Babylon distributed for cost and environmental reasons. (April 1, 2011) Photo Credit: T.C. McCarthy

The Tanner Park Senior Citizen Center in Copiague took a stride toward sustainability on Friday.

Town of Babylon officials and center volunteers distributed green coffee mugs to hundreds of senior citizens who had come down to spend their Friday morning socializing, part of a "green" effort to phase out plastic foam cups for hot beverages.

“We really saw an easy way to reduce waste,” said Max Jacob, a Town of Babylon spokesman.

Gerry Compitello, assistant to Town Supervisor Steve Bellone, said the center distributes nearly 8,000 plastic foam cups each year to its senior citizens. The reusable mugs are expected to alleviate some of that financial and environmental burden.

The senior citizens at the center seemed quite content with the gift, although for more practical reasons.

“They have [a] handle,” said Anthony Maltese, a member of the center. “A handle makes it easier to hold a hot cup.”

Over time the center plans to entirely eliminate the use of plastic foam cups. Compitello expects that senior citizens will support the move, as many are already bringing mugs back and forth from home.

Compitello added that Bellone has eliminated plastic foam cups from his Lindenhurst office.

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