Our mission is to recycle electronics and other materials to create local jobs for people with autism and other disAbilities.
Mission & History:
Blue Star Recyclers is a 501(c)(3) social enterprise with a mission of creating local jobs for people with autism and other disabilities through the ethical recycling of electronic waste. Founded in Colorado Springs in 2009 by the Fagnant family and Bill Morris, Blue Star now has direct operations in Denver and Colorado Springs, and affiliate locations in Boulder.
Social Enterprise Model: Blue Star Recyclers produces four distinct sources of earned income; including recycling fees, commodity sales, program development/consulting fees, and refurbished equipment sales revenue. To date earned income has funded over 90% of Blue Star's operating budget, with the remainder coming from grants, individual donations, and corporate sponsorships.
Blue Star's mission is achieved directly through recycling operations programs in Denver, Colorado Springs, and Boulder CO.
Triple-Bottom Line Impact:
Blue Star Recyclers produces significant deliverables in three areas:
• Social: Our primary social impact is creating local jobs for people with autism and other disabilities facing over 90% unemployment. Our workforce proves that lack of employment is not related to their disAbility but lack of opportunity.
- Aptitude and attitude for careful, detailed, repetitive work.
- Zero loss-time accidents since 2009.
- Over 98% work-task team engagement while on the clock.
Our employees demonstrate that the inordinately high unemployment rate for this population is not due to their disability; it is instead the absence of opportunities for meaningful employment.
• Environmental: To date Blue Star has ethically recycled over 10.5 million pounds of electronic waste.
• Economic: To date Blue Star Recyclers has produced over $8.5 million in earned income, 85% of which stays in Colorado. Blue Star's workforce has also produced $1.5 million in taxpayer savings by employing people with disabilities who are eligible for benefits.
Employee, Leigh Schilling told NBC news how every day there is a goal at Blue Star and she tries to outdo her record every day. Leigh says she feels appreciated here.
"To have people actually encourage you in a workplace makes me very, very grateful. I wish more people could be like that," she said.