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Press Releases / July 10, 2012
INDIANAPOLIS – July 10, 2012 –RecycleForce, a comprehensive recycling social enterprise that provides workforce training to formerly incarcerated individuals, is removing thousands of feet of eight-foot-high barbed wire fencing at Eagle Creek Park. The fence removal will allow wildlife the freedom to roam safely and help beautify the nation’s fourth largest municipal park.
RecycleForce team members, under the direction of the Peace Learning Center, are serving as volunteers to Indy Parks in removing the fencing.
The fence dates back to the early 1930s, where it originally surrounded J.K. Lilly, Jr.’s private library (now the park’s Ornithology Center) and Lilly Lodge. Since the park has exchanged ownership, some of the fencing has been removed. Meanwhile, the remaining fence has deteriorated.
The Peace Learning Center, with assistance from volunteer groups, has helped remove much of the old fencing since moving to Eagle Creek Park in 1997. RecycleForce will remove the remainder of the old fencing, haul it away at no cost to the City of Indianapolis, and recycle the materials.
The project is expected to be complete by July 13, 2012, depending on heat and other weather conditions. RecycleForce estimates it will recycle 50,000 pounds of steel upon the project’s completion.
“When I learned that RecycleForce recently received a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to hire ex-offenders for its recycling business, I thought of that fence and that it needs to be recycled upon removal,” said Tim Nation, president of Peace Learning Center. “This is the biggest, most difficult fence to remove in the park and we’re thrilled that all of the material will be responsibly recycled and to support the worthy mission of RecycleForce.”
The RecycleForce employees handling in the fence removal are all ex-offenders and participants in the Enhanced Transitional Job Demonstration program by the U.S. Department of Labor. The employees receive employment training and a fixed-duration full-time job. RecycleForce’s model also includes employee assistance services designed to help to secure permanent employment and keep ex-offenders out of the criminal justice system.
“We’re so proud to be called upon by our partners in and around Indianapolis to do these types of projects,” said Ed Stites, director of community outreach at RecycleForce. “In addition, it’s great to be able to get these men and women into the community – it’s all part of giving them a second chance, starting with the satisfaction of putting in a good day of honest work.”
RecycleForce, a 501(c)3 organization, is a social enterprise offering comprehensive and innovative recycling services while providing life-changing workforce training to formerly incarcerated individuals. Taking the electronic waste and other recyclables provided by residents and corporate partners, RecycleForce deconstructs these items, recycles the materials and disposes of the waste safely and cleanly. The scrap metals and other reusable materials collected in this process are then sold to help pay for job training programs and employment opportunities for formerly incarcerated men and women in order to support their re-entry back into society.
For more information visit RecycleForce.org.