By Dale Denwalt, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
As the Department of Human Services divests from its recycling operation in Enid, there has been concern that locals could lose that service. A deal has been made, however, to continue recycling pick-ups and drop-offs without a hitch.
The city of Enid said Monday it would provide a building where developmentally disabled clients can sort and compact recyclable materials starting mid-June. The drop-off point in Frisco Park will remain in operation, and Keepin’ Enid Green, a private business, will continue to make pick-ups throughout the city without interruption.
Public Works Director Jim McClain said the DHS clients now will work out of a building on a city lot at Spruce and Cherry.
“As far as the area, it’s not much different. It’s a comparative size,” he said.
DHS’ document-shredding operation tied to the recycling enterprise, OES Information Destruction, also will cease operations soon, but a private employer has stepped up to fill the gap.
Supported Community Lifestyles Inc. already employs about 100 DHS clients in Enid. It will manage the recycling center workers both at the city facility and through a new document-shredding business it owns.
“It was getting close to the deadline and it didn’t seem like there were any other people that were quite as interested as I was in saving the jobs,” said owner Ron Hammock. “They have a long history of working with the community on recycling, and it just seemed like a waste and a shame to let all just go by the wayside.”
Hammock’s DocuGuard business will provide the building and labor for secure destruction of sensitive documents and materials. Just like OES Information Destruction, it will be nationally certified to do the sensitive work.
Hammock said his company is trying to work out deal that would allow them to pick up and store cardboard disposed by commercial clients.
McClain said he is glad to see a conclusion to the uncertainty.
“It’s always better to know where you’re going than not where you’re going. In that sense, absolutely. We can make our plans for the future accordingly, then,” McClain said. “Our main concern, too, was making sure the clients still have a job. They do a good job, and we’re looking forward to a continued relationship.”
Enid’s recycling operation will be managed by the Solid Waste Department. Chris Feeney, a state employee overseeing the current recycling operations, has been hired by Hammock’s company.
“I was really nervous that it was all going to die,” he said.
Feeney also operates his own business, Keepin’ Enid Green, which provides a pick-up service. Now that the future of recycling in Enid is more certain, he hopes his operation can grow.
“I’ve been staying stagnant for a long time, but I’m hoping we can service even more homes now. I even went and bought another trailer this week so I’m hedging on it, for sure,” he said.