"Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden to cultivate it and guard it."
As a Christian ministry, we take seriously our call to be good stewards of God's creation. Part of this calling means doing our part to reduce our own waste streams and encourage greener behaviors in our community.
We have been reducing waste in Polk County since 2014 through our food pantry and thrift store. We pick up food from local grocery retailers and restaurants 5 days a week and divert their excess food to either our food pantry or to local livestock farmers. Our thrift store has also been a central location for residents to donate used clothing, furniture, appliances, and more to give these items a second life and keep them out of the landfill. Used clothes that cannot be sold in the thrift store are sent off to be reused or recycled by other agencies, keeping them out of the landfill.
Beginning in 2019, COM also embarked on a more ambitious and comprehensive recycling program. As a large generator of cardboard waste because of the food pantry, COM partnered with Polk County to begin offering a cardboard recycling service to residents and businesses. COM collects cardboard, bales it, and sends it off to a paper mill to be recycled.
COM has also partnered with Computer Recycling Center in Springfield to offer paper shredding and electronic scrap recycling. Old electronics may be given to COM to be recycled and data containing devices are securely destroyed.
You may also drop off paper to be shredded in a confidential manner for just $1/pound. Paper is placed in a locked container and picked up by the Computer Recycling Center, ensuring that no one sees your sensitive documents until they are shredded professionally.
This program not only provides an additional source of income for our food pantry and case management programs, but it also creates job training opportunities for our clients who are working on improving their skills for employment.