With your help we can to help poor families today and help our planet tomorrow. We currently recycle more than 600 tons of bulky waste,clothing, home, electronics, books, appliances baby goods and more each year. Though we are down to one 8 yard dumpster of trash per week our goal is to be zero waste by the end of 2012. Wish saves the city more than $60,000 per year in trash fees by diverting goods back into original use.
Our goal is to be a Zero Waste charity. This means that absolutely every item that comes in our door is recycled and we no longer have trash cans. Recycling already generates a modest revenue but if we can get rid of the dumpster we save $1,200 and gain a parking space.
Over the years we have worked hard to keep our costs down. Guess what! It turns out that recycling unneeded or damaged goods was much cheaper than trashing them. We try hard to limit what goods we receive so that we do not accept fancy things, decorative things, old toys, damaged furniture, outdated baby gear, off season clothing etc. After all these years we are still struggling to get that message across to donors who think we are a thrift store.
As so many cities have gone to bin-type automatic trash pickup, suddenly it is really hard to find a place to donate unwanted things. To serve our donors, we work hard to accept anything that we can recycle for free even if the clients cannot use it. 2011 was a turning point year for our recycling efforts when we partnered with several entities to greatly expand our ability to recycle.
In addition to our primary mission of providing used goods to those in need, we also direct goods through the following partnerships:
Give Big Events to help recycle in Greater Lowell to collect usable items from the suburbs in an energy efficient manner. We send a big truck to towns for scheduled collection days.
Cains Foods in Ayer, MA provides us we already used plastic bags and gaylord boxes(4foot cube) to run our warehouse. Once used they are recycled again out to the company below.
Northeast Materials Handling/office furniture in Lowell, MA partners with us to pick up: cardboard, plastic, metal, outdated baby gear, outdated electrical items (anything with a cord), TV’s, CRT’s, CPU’s, refrigerators, washers, dryers, AC’s etc. Most is processed for free but we pay for TV’s and computer parts. This is why we charge the $5 recycling fee for certain items.
Epilepsy Foundation partners with us. They pick up twice a week from the warehouse the off season clothing, damaged sheets and unwanted home goods. They pay us by the pound.
New England Clothing Recycling has helped us with recycling clothing for years. We now have a new partnership that should be taking off in late 2011. They are placing red Wish Project clothing collection bins at Wish and in remote locations and we are paid by the pound. This should soon be a modest fundraiser as well.
Cell Phones through the Shelter Alliance (a modest fundraiser and great opp for service hours. We welcome off site collections)
Books, CDs, DVD and video tapes through Got Books (a modest fundraiser)
Broken furniture and soiled mattresses (wood) LL and S in Salem NH
Newspapers and coupons are welcome. We use them in house to package goods and the coupons help us to buy things inexpensively.