Two local groups receive state recycling money

CHICAGO—Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich announced Sept. 13 nearly $72,000 in Opportunity Returns grants that will fund two businesses and organizations expanding recycling throughout the Rockford area.

The recycling grants are administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), and come as a part of Opportunity Returns, Blagojevich’s proactive, regional economic development strategy designed to create jobs and spur growth in the northern stateline region.

“Growing our economy in a way that helps our environment can be accomplished by investing in companies and communities that are expanding the recycling industry in Rockford,” Blagojevich said. “By supporting these kinds of innovative programs that are recycling everything from cans to computers, we are lessening the demand on our landfills and creating more jobs for our working families.”

The Barbara Olson Center of Hope has been selected to receive a $50,000 grant to expand its document shredding and paper recycling efforts. Since 1948, the Barbara Olson Center of Hope has been serving the needs, aspirations and dreams of individuals with developmental disabilities. The goal of this organization is to help each individual achieve his or her greatest independence, both at home and in the community. This project is anticipated to capture approximately 140 additional tons of paper for recycling annually.

The Rockford Park District has been awarded a $21,785 grant to expand its recycling collection efforts by implementing a recycling collection program at five district golf courses. This project will assist the district in advancing its goal of providing recycling opportunities to citizens while they are “at play.” The project is anticipated to divert an additional 22.5 tons of recyclable commodities from being land-filled annually.

State Rep. Chuck Jefferson (D-67) said: “Gov. Blagojevich continues to utilize innovative programs from a wide variety of fields to spur regional economic growth and create more jobs. While these recycling grants will help minimize the negative impact we as consumers have on the environment, they will also play an instrumental role in strengthening an industry that has proven to be a great source of job creation and economic productivity in the Rock River Valley.”

From the Sept. 21-27, 2005, issue

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