MIDD-West suspends recycling operations
Due to COVID-19 MIDD-West has closed its facility-based services, which includes recycling operations.
“We have many of our disabled recycling workers who have immunity vulnerabilities which add to the necessity for precaution,” MIDD-West Industries director Kearney Waites said.
MIDD-West is a non-profit organization that operates a variety of employment and skills training programs for the developmentally disabled of Warren County.
Waites said the recycling operations began in 1990 and this is the first time the service has had to close down.
As of Friday, Waites said he could not give a specific date when recycling will resume, but intentions are to restart when it is safe.
“I am making the call week by week based on the rate of infection and rate of exposure that we discover some of our families may have,” he said.
For those who recycle, Waites’ advice was to discard all saved materials.
“There is no other option,” he said.
MIDD-West moves several tons of recycled material a week, Waites said, and judging from the number of calls he is getting daily, it proves how valuable this service is for the community.
“Some people are quite distraught we are not doing it (recycling). Some people think we are a public utility and want to address us as such and I have to explain to them we are a private non-profit. We are doing it for the benefit of the community and even more so for our disabled workers,” he said.
These workers, which number 30 to 40 people, Waites said, are paid hourly wages for their services.
“And when not working they are in the functional skills training lab where they learn life skills,” he said.
While the MIDD-West facility-based services are closed, Waites said all other community employment is still intact.
“I am just not opening the day program and the workshop right now,” he said.
Waites said he will be glad when the coronavirus is “mitigated.”
To stay informed as to when recycling will resume, Waites said to follow MIDD-West on its Facebook page.
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