Did you know that Blue Star Recyclers has ethically recycled over 15 million pounds of electronics and reduced greenhouse emissions by 1,400,000 pounds? This organization is doing important work in an impactful way, and they were a perfect fit for an Elevations Foundation grant, as they fall into two of our grant program areas: sustainability and mental health.
Blue Star Recyclers was founded in 2009 by Bill Morris with a mission to create local employment opportunities for people with autism and other disabilities by ethically recycling electronics. To date, Blue Star Recyclers has created 40 permanent jobs for people in our communities with disabilities in their three locations: Denver, Colorado Springs and Boulder. In Boulder, they work in partnership with Eco-Cycle CHaRM (Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials). The Blue Star Recyclers have industry low turn-over and over 98 percent work-task team engagement while on the clock, showing that lack of employment for folks with autism and other disabilities is related to lack of opportunity.
The team at Blue Star Recyclers has a variety of roles including warehouse management, janitorial staff and front desk assistance, but most of the team are recycling techs. Blue Star Recyclers employees receive hands-on training and support from managers to ensure they learn all about disassembling and recycling electronics to be successful in their jobs.
Blue Star Recyclers receives electronics directly from consumers and picks up larger orders from Colorado businesses. They accept computers, TVs, monitors, household electronics, cell phones and small appliances, keeping all these items out of landfills. Less than 20 percent of electronic waste is recycled, and Blue Star Recyclers is on a mission to change that.
Blue Star Recyclers has ethically recycled over 15 million pounds of electronics and reduced greenhouse emissions by 1,400,000 pounds. They have hosted over 300 community recycling and secure document shredding events.
Blue Star Recyclers has big plans for the future and plan to continue expanding. In 2017, the organization developed a national expansion program to share its model with other U.S. cities, and by last year many of those locations were in early-stage development.
Elevations Foundation is proud to support the work Blue Star Recyclers does in our community and the impact they make daily. You can find out more about Elevations Foundation and the grants awarded here.