Choctaw Nation Recycling to make an IMPACT in northeastern region of the Choctaw service area

By: By BRET MOSS, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
By: By BRET MOSS, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

DURANT, Okla. – Choctaw Nation Recycling will soon begin an ambitious new endeavor titled Choctaw Project IMPACT, which will focus on recycling efforts in the northeast portion of the Choctaw Nation.

The project will allow for a recycling center, similar to the existing location in Durant, which will serve as a hub for all mobile rollaway receptacles located in the area and be able to compact materials.

It is expected to be located in Poteau and functional in early January 2013, and will be able to process all types of paper, cardboard, tin/steel cans, aluminum cans, plastics (1, 2 and 5), printer cartridges and Styrofoam. It will be open to all residents and businesses in the community and is not limited to Choctaw Nation tribal members, employees or businesses.

IMPACT will also hire two new employees, create opportunities to educate communities and host special collection activities much like those hosted in Durant.

Collection events would include e-waste collection and recycling collection days where the staff will collect materials at a special location. Communities will be engaged by working with Girl/Boy Scouts, youth groups, senior citizens, etc., to help citizens learn more about the importance of recycling.

IMPACT is funded by a grant issued to Choctaw Recycling by Administration for Native Americans (ANA), Social and Economic Development Strategies (SEDS). The grant is set for $151,280 for the first year and will be funded at approximately the same rate for two additional years.

ANA is a part of the Department of Health and Human Services and has the mission to promote the goal of self-sufficiency for Native Americans by providing funding for community-based projects and for training and technical assistance to tribes and native organizations.

“Through the grant we expect to reach around 120,000 people,” stated Director of Project Management Tracy Horst. This recycling program is aimed at providing education and collection activities to divert recyclable waste from landfills or being dumped through our communities. These types of efforts will “definitely make a positive impact on community health and well-being,” continued Horst.

This effort will not only benefit the environment, but can also cut trash costs for businesses and individuals. Though Choctaw Nation already cooperates with businesses, it will be able to reach many more through the grant. “We look forward to speaking and working with clubs, schools and businesses within the northeast area of the Choctaw Nation,” remarked Horst.

If you would like to know more about the Choctaw Nation’s recycling efforts and how you can help, contact Tracy Horst at (580) 920-0488 or (800) 522-6170.

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