RANDOLPH-BASED GROUP EMPLOYS MENTALLY DISABLED RESIDENTS
Morris County has entered into a voluntary E-waste recycling agreement with Green Vision Inc., a non-profit electronic (E-waste) waste recycling organization. GreenVision trains and employs mentally disabled adults, to disassemble electronic waste, such as those generated by county government operations, for recycling.
Green Vision, based in Randolph, will collect outdated and unneeded electronic equipment accumulated by county government, and which by law is banned from disposal (landfill). The county will arrange to periodically haul outdated equipment to Green Vision, which will recycle the accumulated equipment at virtually no cost to the county.
Green Vision has 27 employees and an even longer waiting list for jobs. It is the first organization in the state to educate, train and employ developmentally challenged adults in the business of electronic waste and to properly dismantle and recycle unwanted electronic equipment and devices.
“This is a win for everyone involved,’’ said Freeholder David Scapicchio, the board’s public works liaison, who toured the Green Vision facility in Randolph this week. “It provides valuable education, hands-on training and employment for mentally disabled adults, while offering a valuable service to county government, taxpayers and society. We are very pleased to be partnering with Green Vision.’’
Green Vision gives adults with developmental disabilities the opportunity to learn and work in real life job situations, according to Green Visions’ Board President Tim Butler. The employees strip down virtually every component of the unwanted E-waste, right down to the wiring, for potential sale to a recycling market. The proceeds are used to help finance the nonprofit operation.
“This gives our clients the ability to have a paying job and to continue working on skills they have learned in school. They are working on employment skills and social skills. It helps to dismantle the stigmas of developmental disabilities,’’ said Butler. “Not only is Green Vision providing a service to our students by giving them meaningful job skill training, but we also are providing an environmentally sound “green’’ solution to county government and the local community.’’
Green Vision employees have recycled more than 135,000 pounds of electronic materials this year. Green Vision challenges students with tasks that allow them to use problem-solving skills while dismantling a wide variety of devices. As the E-waste is being taken apart, students sort the materials so it can be recycled, with less than one percent of the material requiring landfilling.
The state in 2011 enacted an E-waste recycling law that banned the disposal computers, televisions, computer monitors and laptops. For organizations with over 50 employees, such as the county government, this means contracting with a licensed E-waste recycling company, such as Green Vision. For smaller businesses as well as residents, the law requires manufacturers to provide free E-waste recycling programs which in Morris County are managed by the Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority (MCMUA) as part of its household hazardous waste program, participating municipalities and select retail outlets such as Best Buy and Staples.
For more information on Green Vision, please visit: http://gvinc.org/