From Enterprise Staff
IAH Secure Adult Detention Facility began a recycling program in January of this year and on March 3 delivered its first load of recyclable material – a total of 333 pounds – to the Polk County Recycling Center.
To prepare for the recycling program, resident workers labeled each collection barrel with the international recycling logo. To keep in line with recycling, the depositories for recyclables are recycled soap barrels used in the facility’s laundry. The depositories are placed on each hallway so all staff can use them, as well as any passing resident.
The facility staff contacted the Polk County Recycling Center to ascertain the proper procedures to follow in collecting and delivering recyclables. They initially considered plastics, cans and cardboard. However, after consulting with the recycling center, it became apparent that cardboard would be a nonstarter at this time. The recycling center does not have the room nor the ability to hold bales of cardboard awaiting pick up from the cardboard recycler.
Facility staff, as a team, decided they would start with plastics and cans from the kitchen. Number 10 cans, a by-product of food service, are in ample quantities to collect. Plastic water and soda bottles are quite plentiful as well. Detainee workers were assigned to assist in the cleaning and sorting of the recyclables in both the kitchen and housing units. Once cleaned and packaged, the recyclables were collected and loaded on the facility truck for delivery to the recycling center. Caps from the plastic bottles are bagged separately and collected by themselves.