Home of Hope Recycling Program: Making Green Country even Greener
Did you know if every American would recycle his or her newspaper just one day a week, it would save about 36 million trees a year? One of the region’s largest recycling programs is operated by Home of Hope in Vinita, Claremore, and Jay. The recycling program ranges from newspapers and cardboard to batteries, motor oil and electronics. What makes Home of Hope’s program unique is that the staff of the recycling operation is comprised of more than 20 individuals with developmental and other disabilities along with a dozen job coaches.
“Beyond the benefit recycling brings to the environment,” explained Greg Crawford, Director of Vocational Services, “the programs at Hope Industries, Rogers County Training Center, and Delaware County Friendship Homes, provide meaningful work for our clients and a significant revenue source for our programs. As the recycling industry evolves and grows, we plan to grow right along with it.”
Recycling cardboard is a large part of the program with cardboard balers located at Hope Industries in Vinita, Rogers County Training Center in Claremore, and Delaware County Friendship Homes in Jay. Last year about 462 tons of cardboard was processed at the Claremore and Vinita facilities alone, enough to save more than 7850 trees. As Delaware County Friendship Homes joined with Home of Hope this past year, that annual number is expected to increase significantly.
Rogers County Training Center partners with the City of Claremore and the Metropolitan Environmental Trust to operate Claremore’s free drop-off recycling center at 810 West Ramm Road. The recycling center takes a large number of items including newspapers, cardboard, magazines, junk mail, and phone books. Aluminum cans, glass bottles, batteries, and used cooking and motor oil are collected there as well. The drop-off location recently added e-waste such as computers, televisions and phones. There are fees associated with the collection of some e-waste to assist with the cost of safe disposal, so please check metrecycle.com to determine details. The hours of the recycling center are Monday through Saturday: 10 am to 3 pm and Sundays 12 noon to 5 pm.
“Our partnership in Claremore is a great model for other communities,” continued Crawford. “We would be glad to speak to other communities in the area about similar partnerships and free drop-off recycling centers that benefit all involved.”
In addition to operating the Ramm Road Recycling Center, the staff at Rogers County Training Center conducts a regular route of more than 20 businesses obtaining cardboard and other recyclables.
A route from Vinita’s Hope Industries covers more than 50 businesses. A cardboard recycling bin, open to the public, is located east of the Post Office in Vinita. Besides cardboard, Hope Industries recycles a huge amount of paper received through donations as well as commercial shredding done by Home of Hope’s Centsible Business Center in downtown Vinita. The route from Delaware County Friendship Homes is far reaching as it includes over 200 pick-up locations.
According to Hope Industry Production Manager Rick Davis, the Vinita program also recycles textiles. “When a clothing donation is made to Home of Hope’s Centsible Spending resale stores that is torn, stained or otherwise unsellable, the clothing is bundled and recycled or sold to companies who send the clothing oversees to developing countries. Either way, through textile recycling the clothing is kept out of a landfill.”
“Home of Hope’s recycling program is a win in so many ways,” said Dr. Ralph Richardson, Chief Executive Officer. “Providing such a needed service to our communities while enabling individuals we serve to develop vocational skills to progress toward their full potential is a great collaboration. And the additional funding this operation provides to our programs in a time of government cuts is vital to the services we are able to provide to the more than 200 individuals we serve.”