A recycling program is keeping thousands of pounds of plastics out of McLean County landfills


BLOOMINGTON TOWNSHIP, Ill. — A Twin Cities program is helping underserved people in the community find work, while also improving the environment.

Each township in the state is required to create a Workfare Program for people in the community who may not be able to get a job because of their disabilities.

The City of Bloomington Township is taking that requirement a step further allowing workers to take part in recycling, which in turn, is making McLean County a safer place.

“The earth is like our body,” said Scott Priest, a recipient of Workfare Services. “We have to take care of our body, and to do that we have to recycle and keep it clean.”

Through the Promoting Others to Succeed or POTS Program , Township community members are cleaning, organizing and recycling plastics.

“Our cities do not have gardening pots recycling as part of their mainstream,” said Township Supervisor Deb Skillrud. “They have certain things that can collect, but they do not collect the pots because it’s a mundane process to clean them and there is not a staff available.”

There was a similar program like this in years past but it was not run by the Township. It went away because there was no available space to continue the work.

Since then the Home Sweet Home Ministries opened up their warehouse on Washington street which prompted the Township leaders to take action.

They were able to secure a small corner of the facility, allowing workfare recipients a chance to join the program, which in turn has given them more than just a job.

“We have so much product that we need to go through and get through,” said Amy Howe, Workforce Development Coordinator for the Township. “I think our clients are happy, they feel like they have given back to the community, and they are doing something great for the environment.”

On Tuesday, 8,000 pounds (3.63 t) of the plastic they collected was picked up by East Jordan Plastics, a Michigan-Based Company. The company will use the material to create new plant pots and plant trays.

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