Quantcast

Crush! Shred! Grind! Cut! - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Crush! Shred! Grind! Cut!

Posted: Updated:
From Our Sponsors:



Nicholas Moscoso, diagnosed with cerebral palsy and developmental disability at birth, attended special education classes through childhood. As he grew, his mom, Julie, couldn't help but worry.

What would his life be like, she wondered? “Nick was quiet and withdrawn. I never imaged he would hold a meaningful job or live independently,” she says.

 “Often, kids like Nick sit at home.”

But Nick, now 30, does not sit at home. As Lead Driver at Blue Star Recyclers in Colorado Springs, he and 24 team members collect, disassemble and recycle used electronic equipment. They earn salaries and wages, require less government assistance and are proud of their contribution. Last year alone, the team recycled 2.2 million pounds of e-waste, producing earned income of $806,000 and making Colorado Springs a cleaner, better place to live.

“Nick's up early and ready to go to work every day,” says Julie. “He is acknowledged and appreciated at Blue Star Recyclers. He's been promoted! It's led to an amazing sense of self-worth that carries into his daily independent life.”

Since 2009, Blue Star Recyclers, an award-winning Colorado Springs nonprofit, has worked a kind of magic: generating new local jobs from the skilled recycling of old electronics and opening the door to a more self-sustaining future for people with disabilities.

The economic bottom line to the Colorado Springs area is clear-cut. Blue Star Recyclers has created more than 30 jobs, produced $3 million in new local revenue and taxpayer savings and ethically recycled more than 7 million pounds of e-waste. Nick and his team members love the meticulous work of disassembly, they do it exceptionally well and the income they earn reduces or eliminates their need for public assistance.

“Early on, we learned that people with autism and certain developmental disabilities have incredible innate talent for the disassembly of computers and other electronic components,” says Bill Morris, CEO of Blue Star. “But there's more to it than that. They bring to the workplace a set of remarkable attitudes regarding work.”

Morris points to the occupational statistics of their team of adults with disAbilities since 2009: in five years, zero turnover on the team, zero absenteeism and zero time lost due to accidents. “These numbers are unheard of in a production workforce, and that's what we have,” says Morris proudly. “People with autism and disabilities aren't just good employees, they are phenomenal employees.”

Most people in southern Colorado with autism and other developmental disabilities never get the chance to show their skills. Some 85 to 95 percent of them are unemployed. Most qualify for Medicaid Social Security Disability Insurance and may receive benefits to pay for housing, food, transportation and care. Most are enrolled in government-funded “Day Habilitation” programs where costs range from $10 to $30 per hour.

By contrast, Blue Star Recyclers' part-time production workers earn salaries, pay taxes and consume far less public services. Morris estimates that Blue Star Recyclers' part-time workers deliver $13,000 to $15,000 in taxpayer savings annually; those on fulltime schedules, as much as $30,000. “The taxpayer wins, whether he or she recycles or not,” Morris says.

How would you like to help create a job for somebody who never gets a chance? Not only that, but when they go to work, you and every Colorado Springs taxpayer get a break?

You can help support Blue Star Recyclers in three ways:

1. Bring us your old household electronics. Your personal laptops, desktops, servers, printers, wire, batteries, fluorescent bulbs, appliances and even that ancient vacuum cleaner. Download a list of the items we accept. The recycling fee you pay goes directly toward wages for our team to recycle and reclaim materials. Call ahead for times and drop-off locations.

2. Connect your business with Blue Star Recyclers. If you are a local business, ask us about our local pick-up service for your e-waste. We handle electronics, hard drive destruction and fluorescent bulb recycling. Request a quote online.

3. Support our mission. The deadline for filing taxes is around the corner. Please consider making a onetime or a monthly tax-free donation to Blue Star Recyclers, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit social enterprise.

Your money helps pay willing workers a fair wage, reducing your tax burden, changing lives and making Colorado Springs a cleaner, better place to live. Call or email us for more information:

Blue Star Recyclers
100 Talamine Court
Colorado Springs, CO 80907


 (719) 597-6119

info@bluestarrecyclers.com



Hours:

Mon. – Fri. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sat. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This article was produced for and sponsored by Blue Star Recyclers in Colorado Springs, Colo. It is not a product of or affiliated with KOAA News 5.




  • Blue Star Recyclers StoriesMore>>

  • Recycling Magic: From Old PCs, a New Beginning

    Recycling Magic: From Old PCs, a New Beginning

    From Our Sponsors:For the past six years, a good day’s work for the team at Blue Star Recyclers has centered on destruction: breaking down electronics, hard drives and computers and ethically recycling circuit boards, screws, fans and wires. Now, some seven million pounds of e-waste later, there’s a new job on the line at the Colorado Springs nonprofit: salvaging and refurbishing some of those computers and placing them in the hands of low-income families and children.The p...
    From Our Sponsors:For the past six years, a good day’s work for the team at Blue Star Recyclers has centered on destruction: breaking down electronics, hard drives and computers and ethically recycling circuit boards, screws, fans and wires. Now, some seven million pounds of e-waste later, there’s a new job on the line at the Colorado Springs nonprofit: salvaging and refurbishing some of those computers and placing them in the hands of low-income families and children.The p...
  • 4 Ways Companies Win by Hiring Adults with Autism

    4 Ways Companies Win by Hiring Adults with Autism

    From Our Sponsors:Ian, a recycling tech at Blue Star Recyclers, has his own way of dealing with stress. He spins for a few minutes to calm himself down. And then he gets back to work. Blue Star chief executive officer Bill Morris has a pretty good idea how some employers might respond to a spinning Ian or to any other worker with developmental disabilities. “Young adults with development disabilities sometimes can look different or act different, and it's easy for employers to focus on that...
    From Our Sponsors:Ian, a recycling tech at Blue Star Recyclers, has his own way of dealing with stress. He spins for a few minutes to calm himself down. And then he gets back to work. Blue Star chief executive officer Bill Morris has a pretty good idea how some employers might respond to a spinning Ian or to any other worker with developmental disabilities. “Young adults with development disabilities sometimes can look different or act different, and it's easy for employers to focus on that...
Powered by Frankly

© KOAA.com 2017, KOAA.com
A CORDILLERA COMMUNICATIONS Station
All rights reserved
Privacy Policy, | Terms of Service, and Ad Choices

Can't find something?