Archives for posts with tag: recycling

Wheels of Hope is dedicated to keeping wheelchairs, medical supplies and other DME out of landfills. Every item we receive is either refurbished, dismantled and sorted for recyclable parts, or we find other ministries that can use medical supplies. Lastly, if no use can be found or made, donations are cleaned and recycled.

This year, we received a surprise financial gift from the Kimble Foundation. Our Board of Directors elected to allocate the funds for a long-overdue clean-out of our warehouse of long-accumulated damaged donations that we cannot recondition to distribute overseas (No Junk for Jesus!) We allocated funds to set up a second day for Director of Operations, Patrick Rimke, to assess, sort, clean and move out these materials to recycling facilities. We also allocated funds to buy any needed parts to make some of the broken things whole again to ship overseas to help those who need it most.

The result? We have thus far recycled gel cell batteries from power wheelchairs, aluminum from damaged walkers, bent or broken wheelchair parts and other miscellaneous goods. These different metals were cleaned, sorted and delivered to Jeffco which recycles scrap metal for re-use. We received an additional small fee of $438, not enough to offset our costs, so the grant from Kimble made this service feasible.

Seven pallets of flattened cardboard boxes were also delivered to River Valley Paper. We have more to recycle and look forward to volunteer crews to help on Saturday Warehouse Whip-it events Nov. 30th and Dec. 7th.

We partnered with Jay’s Recycling to scrap and recycle our broken and damaged steel. Presently, we are accumulating more steel and mixed metals to make it worth another trip. It is best to have 3-4 tons at a time, and the price per ton has been low over the years. Jay works hard!

We have plastic parts from damaged bathroom aids to recycle. We will take our broken plastics to the Kimble recycle plant near our facility, once we have enough.

We receive medical supplies that our partnering in-country organizations (The RICD Wheelchair Project in Thailand and Christo Ayuda in Chile) can’t use, like aerosol machines, ventilators, oxygen equipment, adult diapers, bandages and other home medical devices. We re-donate these to Central American Medical Outreach, Vine International and other local ministries that distribute these items to Honduras and Guatemala.

Many heartfelt thanks to the Kimble Foundation for assisting us with our recycling efforts for those broken pieces and parts that remain unfit for distribution to persons with disabilities, and for giving that forgotten wheelchair that only needs a wheel-lock a chance to bless someone in need!

Troop leader Denise is an inspiration

Everyday is recycle day at the warehouse.

We had Boy Scout Troop #48 down on Saturday March 19th.
They really went to work at removing a mountain, a mountain of cardboard boxes from some of the equipment we receive from Invacare. If someone knows of a cardboard crusher machine we could have it could help Wheels of Hope in the support and recycling responsibilities.

They also started to dismantle the rollators that are damaged beyond repair in our recycling project. We will get them to the scrap yard and this will help our funding.

We are quite blessed to have so many volunteers! Thanks to all of you!

At this time our aluminum and steel scrap are two income sources for us. If we had a cardboard crusher we could gain income from the boxes. River Valley Paper Company will come and get the cardboard for us at no cost. If we were to bail it,  we could get $90 a bail. Giving them the boxes clears out of our space and keeps the landlord happy.

Invacare has provided hundreds of aluminum rollators. Some are repairable and others are for parts. We can combine parts from two, to make a complete usable one. We also receive heavy duty steel rollators that are not needed in the countries we ship to. Thailand and South America have smaller stature folks.

We repair the light weight rollators that can used and part out and scrap the damaged beyond repair ones. We are quite backed up with ones that need repair, our counterpart in Thailand says they have volunteers who can do this. So they will be getting quite a few to repair in the three upcoming shipments.

Two Scouts strip a broken rollator for parts

We can use the wheels, bearings, bolts and other parts on some of our chairs and send other wheels to Hope Haven International Ministries for the chairs they build.

Thanks, Scouts, for a job well done!

— Patrick Rimke