Contrary to online gossip, recycling really does exist and thrive in Indianapolis and surrounding counties. In order to hear and see for ourselves, the Creation Care Committee at St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Indianapolis sponsored a tour of two key recycling facilities in the City of Indianapolis on December 14, 2021.
The first stop was RecycleForce, an electronic or e-waste recycling operation that recycles "anything with a plug". RecycleForce uses this operation to make possible their primary mission: RecycleForce is a 501(c)3 that is committed to reducing crime through employment and job training, while improving the environment through electronics recycling. Since 2006, RecycleForce has safely recycled more than 65 million pounds of electronic waste while providing job training to thousands of returning citizens. RecycleForce hires individuals who have recently been incarcerated and trains them to be productive members of our city. RecycleForce also provides these workers with on-site education, counseling and other forms of support. Gregg Keesling, RecycleForce's CEO, briefed about a dozen Creation Care Committee members and friends describing their history, mission and programs. Andrew King, Director of Inventory and Quality Control, provided a comprehensive walking tour and an early look at building plans for their new and expanded facility due to open on the old RCA manufacturing plant site in Indianapolis in late 2022. St Luke's has a unique partnership with RecycleForce that includes a 24/7 e-waste drop-off trailer in the rear parking lot of St. Luke's campus. This trailer is available to St. Luke’s members and the larger community. RecycleForce picked up 26,205 lbs. of electronic waste from our trailer in 2021. Please bring anything with a cord. No toxic materials, light bulbs, paint, furniture, or clothing. See recycleforce.org for a complete list. RecycleForce welcomes monetary donations to support their mission.
The second stop was Ray's Recycling. Ray's is the contractor recycling company that services St. Luke's. Suzy Denton of Ray's Recycling provided a conference room style briefing and another extensive walking tour of their large recycling center. Lively conversation with Suzy centered around what is recyclable and what is not, particularly in everyday household waste. All participants were provided a clean, green miniature Ray's Recycling bin! If you are a Ray’s customer, visit https://raystrash.com/what-can-i-recycle/ to find a list of items to recycle.
Over the past two years the Creation Care Committee has revamped its recycling program to reduce contamination of recycling loads and improve monitoring of our e-waste trailer. Most recently, the Committee worked with our food service operation to initiate composting of food and related waste.
John H. Dane, Recycling Coordinator, Creation Care Committee