The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

April 5, 2014

Chris Feeney looks to ‘make a difference’ in reducing our footprint

ENID, Okla. — For all he’s done for recycling in Enid, Chris Feeney might be an environmentalist.

“I suppose. I’m not a tree-hugger necessarily,” he said. “I don’t go extreme, but I do what I can with recycling or energy conservation. If I see something on the ground, I pick it up.”

He does more than that. While he’s not overseeing OES Information Destruction and Material Recovery, which is Enid’s only consumer products recycling facility, he operates recycling pick-up service Keepin’ Enid Green Curbside Recycling.

At $10 per month for residential customers (or $100 a year), the business serves more than 500 homes in Enid. The materials are donated to OES for sorting and recycling.

“We all live on this planet and if we can decrease our footprint a little bit, it makes a huge difference,” he said.

Jill Phillips is one of Feeney’s customers, both at home and at her wholesale pet supply shop, Vetscribe Solutions.

Her friends got her into recycling — it didn’t come automatically.

“It’s natural now. As a younger person, that wasn’t something I grew up with. So it was a conscious choice,” she said.

It’s easy to do, though. For Phillips, it means making things simple.

“For example at my home, I have a trash bin that’s set up right by my kitchen. It may be an extra two steps to make sure I put that item into the recycling bin,” she said.

“The simpler I think you can make it for yourself, the higher your chances of success on following through with a recycling plan.”

People who want to recycle also can drop off unsorted bags or boxes of materials at the Enid Recycle Center, located at 2nd and Chestnut in Frisco Park.

Recycling was just a job for Feeney — at first.

“It usually takes something to get someone’s attention, but it didn’t take long until recycling was a habit,” he said. “There’s no choice; you can’t throw anything away anymore.”

That passion and necessity can mean leaving the theater or game with your trash instead of tossing it there, he said.

“We have a finite number of resources on our planet and we can’t make more. That’s it,” said Feeney.

He’s director at OES, which is owned by the Department of Human Services. Working in the field for 15 years has let him see the difference recycling can make.

Everything from OES is turned into something else, while regular trash is dumped at the landfill, a costly process fraught with environmental issues.

“Go out there to the landfill and watch. Those trucks are lined up all day long, they never quit. We’ve got a long way to go,” he said.

“The more we can keep out of that landfill, the better we are. Our kids and grandkids are going to pay for it if we don’t.”

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