VOA Recycles 2 Million Pounds of Trash a Year

VOA Recycles 2 Million Pounds of Trash a Year

Spring is a great time to clean out your closet.One local organization is making sure all of that trash doesn't end up in the landfill.
At the Volunteers of America retail store on Lake Avenue, everything old is new again. "We take clothing, hardgoods, tv's stereos, whatever you want, just bring them on in," says Larry Lyautey the VOA Retail Store Manager.

The money raised at the retail store stays here in the community, funding programs that help people get back on their feet.

"The profits go right back into serving our clients which are so in need of our services," says JoAnne Ryan the VOA President and CEO.

Not everything that comes in can be re-sold and that's where the recycling effort comes in. "Nothing finds it's way back into the landfill. If we can't sell it because of the quality or condition we can work with a third world country, give them the textiles and send millions and millions of pounds over so we are very excited about that relationship as well," says Ryan. "We have almost zero waste," says Jeff Romano, the VOA Director of Distribution and Logistics

In 2012, the VOA recycled 281,00 pounds of metal, nearly 400,000 pounds of paper, close to 1.4 million pounds of cloth, and just over 237,000 pounds of electronics.

That two million pounds doesn't even reflect all of the many items that are sold at the retail store. "I've had numerous conversation with people that say well I've got one shoe what do it do with it? Well, bring it on in, we'll take it. We'll salvage it out and get the price back and put the money right back into the community," says Lyautey.

It's rewarding work both for the community and the environment. "It's part of working here. Everyone feels pride in what they do because of what we do for our own community. It's a great situation," Lyautey adds.

Right now donations are down at the VOA. If you have some items to donate you can drop them off at the retail store on lake avenue or call them at 647-1150 to arrange a pick-up.

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