5 Ways We Focus on Recycling

The Foundry Ministries makes recycling a priority!  Quinn Barefield, Director of Enterprise and an expert in distribution, says, “ We have established a system to combat waste in our thrift stores.  The strategy in place helps to recycle cardboard, scrap metal, wiring, and used clothing.”

1. Paper/Cardboard

Recycling areas for cardboard and paper are available at all  Foundry Thrift Store facilities. As you can imagine, we use loads of paper and cardboard materials every week. In the distribution center alone, we disposed of more than 31,500 pounds of paper or cardboard last year.

Recycling 1 ton of paper can save up to 31 trees.  Recycling paper products is simple. If your typical home waste pick up does not offer cardboard or paper disposal, please find a convenient drop off location near you: alabamarecycling.org/aeconline/recycling/materials/papers/cardboard.

2. Scrap Metal

Copper is one of the most abundant and profitable metals on the planet.  However, it is not limitless. Most wiring, cookware, piping, electric motors, and even brass is made with copper.

We disposed of more than 350,000 pounds of scrap metal last year.  By recycling metal materials we are helping to reduce waste in landfills, conserve copper ore, save energy, and keep the environment purer.

3. Wiring

Wires from electronics, such as lamps, computers, or televisions are properly recycled at our facilities.  Electronic waste totals approximately 2% of the waste stream in the U.S.  Wiring and plugs can often be repurposed for new products.

Similar to scrap metal, the improper disposal of cables can result in hazardous waste for the environment.  E-waste can be severely dangerous for air purity. It causes our air to be polluted, plants to die, and humans to become very ill.

The Foundry Thrift Stores recycles more than 14,000 pounds of wiring every year!  You can help by donating your used electronic items with wiring or plugs.

4. Clothing & Shoes

The clothing items and shoes that are not able to be sold in our stores are repurposed into   rags or sent to developing countries to be sold. We sort, bale, resell, and ship more than 1.9 million pounds, or 960 tons, of textiles overseas!

According to Recyclenation.com,  post-consumer textile waste or cloth material (clothing, towels, bedding etc.) accounted for more than 32 billion pounds of waste in 2014.  Last year alone, The Foundry Thrift Stores kept more than 2 million pounds of rags from landfills.   

Also, the production of making new clothing is a draining resource for the economy and environment!  It takes an average of 2,700 liters to produce the cotton needed to make a single t-shirt.

These statistics are staggering, especially considering, these are reusable items we utilize everyday!  “We aim to supply the sales floor of our stores with 9,000 pieces of clothing a day. 1,000 pairs of shoes per day,” said Barefield.  Buying and donating used clothing significantly helps to minimize the harmful waste to our planet.

5. People

“At The Foundry Ministries, we strive to steward products, finances, and people well.  Our God is a God of second chances,” said Barefield. We create opportunities for people to receive another shot at life through the transformative programs we offer our participants.  Each person that goes through any of our programs receives a work assignment for employment readiness that instills confidence, responsibility, and skills that will assist them after they graduate..  

“One way we excel at The Foundry Thrift Stores is by creating excellent and efficient procedures of operation–that being said we have no problem putting that aside for people!  We will stop for a prayer meeting or the opportunity to pour life and hope into our program participants on a daily basis.”

Quinn also remarked about his favorite part of working for The Foundry, “When you see a broken person become whole again through our hope inspired ministry, it is my greatest joy. I get to see the restoration that Christ offers through our graduates. It is truly life-giving!”

Repurpose. Reduce. Recycle. Thrift Different