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Success Stories - Non-Profits
More and more non-profit organizations are implementing cost saving, environmentally-friendly recycling, composting and waste reduction programs. Here are a few organizations in Cuyahoga County who are leading the way.
- Jennings Center for Older Adults
- St. Vincent de Paul
Recycling Container Grant helps Jennings Center for Older Adults quickly reduce their waste by 33%
Jennings Center for Older Adults is a not-for-profit older adult services organization located in Garfield Heights, Ohio. Over 900 individuals are served annually through both long and short term nursing care, assisted living, adult day care services, rehabilitation, intergenerational child care, and senior housing. The opportunity to apply for a recycling container grant through the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste Management District led Jennings to expand their departmental and individual recycling program for mixed paper, cardboard, aluminum and bi-metal cans, as well as #1 and #2 plastic bottles and containers. After receiving approval for this reimbursement grant, a representative from Jennings Center for Older Adults attended our grant training session to learn how to implement a successful recycling program.
Jennings first established a recycling program steering committee which included members of all the major departments. Sometimes people call these “Green Teams”. They set goals to achieve 100% departmental participation and 80% individual participation in the program. Jennings wishes to reduce its output of waste by 50%, and this will be measured by a decrease in the number of pick-ups required for trash. They organized a program to strategically place various recycling containers throughout the center, making it easy to recycle and more efficient for their maintenance staff. Desk side recycling containers, recycling stickers, 65 gallon recycling totes and dollies, as well as can crushers were purchased with the grant. They decided to use their waste hauler to pick up both their recyclables and trash and negotiated favorable terms on their contract. The committee launched an awareness campaign which included procedural instructions and helpful recycling tips in newsletters. Information about recycling is also located on bulletin boards and near employee gathering areas. Jennings has a separate committee to monitor the volume of their recycling on a routine basis. They will continue to provide education to areas that need improvement in order to meet their goals. In just 4 to 5 months they have reduced their waste output by 33% and are well on their way to reaching their 50% goal! Not only are they saving money on their trash bill, enabling them to benefit financially, but they are also communicating that the program has a community benefit in that it contributes to the stewardship of the environment.
Cudell Improvement Reduces Waste By Over 50%
Cudell Improvement, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing services such as real estate development, a weatherization program, industrial retention, youth services, and many others to residents and the business community Cudell and Edgewater. Located on Lorain Avenue, this small 6 person office recycles paper, plastic, glass, aluminum cans, and used ink cartridges. One staff member even takes compostable items from the office home to her compost pile. At the end of each week, a staff member takes all the recyclable items to a local City of Cleveland recycling bin. The organization wanted to increase the amount of items they were recycling. They did not have uniform recycling containers throughout the office, labeling of the containers was not clear to employees, and as a small office space was an issue. As a non-profit, funding for new recycling containers was not available so they applied for and received a Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District Recycling Container Grant. Jeanette Toms, their Special Programs Coordinator attended the grant training to learn how to improve their recycling program.
Cudell Improvement, Inc. chose colorful stackable recycling bins to save space. They carefully and clearly labeled them and strategically placed them near the copy machine. For convenience desk side recycling bins were purchased for all of the employees. In just two months they were able to reduce the amount of office waste produced by over 50%. They cut the amount of trash service in half, saving them money on their trash bill as well. Cudell Improvement, Inc. is not done there. They are looking into taking their plastic bags and plastic wrap to Giant Eagle for recycling. To prevent office waste the organization is looking into ceramic coffee mugs for the office to replace Styrofoam cups and their purchasing procedures to see if they can reduce waste there as well.
St. Vincent de Paul Southwest Food Pantry Turns Recycling Cardboard from an Operating Cost into Revenue
John Litten is the Executive Director of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of the Diocese (SVDP) of Cleveland. The Society operates several food pantries in Cuyahoga and Summit County. As a non-profit organization providing food to the needy, SVDP is always concerned with keeping operating costs down.
When John and his volunteers saw their costs rising for the weekly cardboard recycling pick up, they turned to The Cuyahoga County Solid Waste Management District for help. Working with Doreen Schreiber, Business Recycling Specialist, John discovered that as a non-profit they qualified for a free recycling “dumpster” for paper and cardboard from one of several recycling companies in Northeast Ohio. The cardboard recycling contract through SVDP’s waste hauler was coming to an end, so he decided not to renew it. Instead, he called upon another local company which dropped off the outdoor recycling container for free. His recycling stream is mostly cardboard with minor amounts of paper. The new recycling dumpster gets picked up on a regular basis (and sometimes has extra pick-ups), for free. Not only that, there is no long term contract he had to sign, and the food pantry receives revenue generating checks from the recyclable material that is picked up.
This new program was so successful at their Broadview Road location that SVDP had another free recycling dumpster delivered to their Akron, Ohio location! John is currently looking at the other food pantry locations in Cuyahoga County to see if they can also duplicate recycling revenue success there.