Marcie Bortleson may be an empty nester today, but for many years, her nest was brimming.

A Bettendorf resident for 20 years, Bortleson has five adult daughters, all with families of their own. Now retired, she worked for North Scott School District for 20 years and Pleasant Valley Schools for nine as a self-described “lunch lady.”

Like many people, Bortleson recycles for practical, environmental reasons.

“It just makes good sense to try to reuse things. It’s a small part people can play to be a good member of the community,” she says.

Being part of the community is important to Bortleson, a 2016 graduate of Bettendorf 101: Citizen Academy, a seven-week educational program exploring the city.

When it comes to changes to her recycling program coming August 1, 2016, Bortleson is optimistic. She looks forward to recycling more materials—especially plastics.

She says, “I think it’s exciting that they continue finding new ways to make better use of things that are thrown out.”