In the early 1990’s, garbage from the Community Kitchen’s feeding program began reaching an all time high. We were sending dozens of bags of garbage to the landfill each day. Often, the bags were filled with cardboard, tin, and other recyclable materials. In an effort to divert waste from the landfill and further our mission of serving the homeless, the “recycle lives” program was born.
At first, we hired part-time folks from our job placement program to sort our own materials; once we got a truckload, we would sell the items, using the funds to help pay for the employees. Soon after, our donors and volunteers started asking if they could bring in their recycling from home… they especially like the fact that we did not require the items to be sorted.
Before long, we were employing several homeless individuals full time and the recycling program became one of our essential services – we now offer entry level positions for homeless clients in our Help II program. In fact, even the supervisors in the program are formerly homeless.
We accept all items that can be recycled, to include plastic, tin, aluminum, paper and glass. We also accept worn out shoes and clothing. Shoes must be in pairs. We do not require items to be pre-sorted.
To donate your recyclables, just load them in your car and bring them to the loading area in front of our door at 727 East 11th Street (look for the green awning). Someone will unload the items and give you a receipt. It’s that easy.
By bringing your recyclables to us, you help recycle lives while being a good steward of our environment.