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Blue Star Recyclers

Blue Star Recyclers exists to create meaningful jobs for people with autism and other disAbilities by ethically recycling electronics. Earned income covers more than 90% of our expenses, but we rely on fundraising to help create more jobs. Your donation qualifies for Enterprise Zone Tax Credits.

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Mountain Recycling Operations

Class

Employment 

Beneficiaries

At-Risk Populations
Disabled
People/Families with of People with Disabilities
Poor, Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent
Unemployed, Underemployed

Description

Our Mountain Recycling Operations were launched in June of 2020, after almost five years of collaborative work with multiple stakeholders in the Roaring Fork Valley. Our strategic partners include Pitkin County Solid Waste, all seven Rotary Clubs in the Roaring Fork Valley, the Daniels Fund, Western Colorado Communities Fund, and Pitkin County Healthy Community Fund. Additionally, our workforce development partners include Roaring Fork Schools, Ascendigo Autism, and Mountain Developmental Services.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

MRO just opened in Q3 of 2020, and we'll post results in Q4.

Mission Expansion Program

Class

Employment 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Disabled
People/Families with of People with Disabilities
Poor, Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent
Unemployed, Underemployed

Description

In 2018 we realized we were onto something special, and we had almost ten years of data to share with other communities, organizations, and recyclers who were interested in replicating our mission and model.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

In 2018 and 2019 we helped three other recyclers in the US replicate our model in Nashville, TN, Omaha, NE, and Fort Wayne, IN. In 2019 we also partnered with Kyklos in Santiago, Chile to launch their electronics recycling program. In 2020 we launched the Advance+ program to train ten other e-Stewards certified recyclers how to employ people with disabilities using the Blue Star model. Currently we are working with an autism organization in the UK to replicate our mission and model in Cumbria. All total this has grown the number of jobs for people with disabilities to over 100, and by the end of 2020 that number will rise dramatically.

Boulder Recycling Operations

Class

Employment 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
At-Risk Populations
Disabled
Unemployed, Underemployed

Description

Blue Star's mission and model were brought to Boulder County in 2016 through an innovative and collaborative partnership with Eco-Cycle and the Boulder Rotary Club. Eco-Cycle, a worldwide leader in community zero waste programs, has served Boulder County for over 40 years. One of the cornerstones of their recycling operations is the Center for Hard to Recycle Materials (or CHaRM for short) located at 7400 East Arapahoe Road in Boulder. Through advocacy and funding from the Boulder Rotary Club, Blue Star Recyclers set up operations at the CHaRM to collect electronics for recycling.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

This very special partnership between Blue Star Recyclers, Eco-Cycle, and Boulder Rotary Club has created of 10 permanent jobs there for people with disabilities, as well as keeping almost $300,000 annually in the Colorado economy. With one of the highest recycling diversion rates in the country (percentage of waste materials recycled), the CHaRM brings in over 1 million pounds of electronics for recycling annually, and over $500,000 in social return on investment (SROI) annually.

Colorado Springs Recycling Operations (CSRO)

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Deaf & Hearing Impaired
Mentally/Emotionally Disabled
People/Families with of People with Developmental Disabilities
Unemployed, Underemployed

Description

CSRO is our founding program based in Colorado Springs. With 25 employees (18 of which are people with autism and other disabilities), over 8 million pounds of electronic waste ethically recycled, and over $1.5 million in taxpayer savings, since 2009 our CSRO program has produced significant triple-bottom line results and become an asset to the Colorado Springs community. Blue Star's mission is achieved directly through recycling operations programs.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

This is the first and founding location for Blue Star Recyclers in 2009. Since that time CSRO has created 18 permanent jobs for people with disabilities, recycled over 12 million pounds of electronics, and generated over $10 million in social return on investment (SROI).

Denver Recycling Operations (DRO)

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Blind & Vision Impaired
Deaf & Hearing Impaired
Physically Disabled
Unemployed, Underemployed

Description

Our Denver Recycling Operations opened in late 2014, and today DRO is our largest operation in size, number of employees, as well as annual material recycling volume and earned income. DRO also has a secret weapon of sorts... a very special partnership with Cherry Creek Schools. Together we train special ed/transitions students to acquire and demonstrate the skills needed for employment with Blue Star, and to date eight CCS students have become Blue Star employees.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

DRO recycles over 2 million pounds annually, produces over $1 million in earned income, and over $3 million in social return on investment (SROI). With large customers like City/County Denver, Denver Water, Davita, VF Corporation, UC Health, and many others, DRO is our flagship recycling operations.

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