ROCKLEDGE – Shortly after Earth Day, which took place on April 22, a local organization working to keep trash out of landfills celebrated a significant milestone.
On April 24, Recycle Brevard held a grand opening event, marking exactly one year to the day when the nonprofit’s Rockledge location officially opened in 2017.
Prior to that, the organization operated out of founder and president Marcia Booth’s home. It had been that way since she first began Recycle Brevard as a blog in 2011.
Whereas the home location made it difficult to hold meetings, train volunteers and accept hard-to-recycle items from county residents, the public location “has opened many doors” because it allows the organization to conduct all of those activities and more, Mrs. Booth said.
One of the biggest goals when opening the Rockledge location included becoming financially self-sufficient – a goal that remains a work in progress today.
“As an organization 100 percent funded by donations/sponsorships, 100% run by volunteers,” Mrs. Booth noted, “we face many challenges and this is our biggest one because we incur costs for even being there and we charge nothing - or almost nothing - for the things we do."
“We are still working on it but it looks very promising,” Mrs. Booth continued. “[One] thing we are doing is reworking the structure of memberships to add more flexibility.”
The organization also offers recycling services for events as a way to help reduce the amount of trash in landfills while also moving toward financial self-sufficiency.
Recycle Brevard has additionally made progress toward its goals of recruiting volunteers and conducting advocacy aimed at reducing the use of pollutive materials, such as polystyrene containers.
There is now one volunteer working solely on educational programs and materials, while another is focused on advocacy efforts, Mrs. Booth pointed out.
New developments since opening a year ago include discussion courses for adults, partnerships with Computers Advancing Education and Black Hole Makers to recycle electronics, and an ability to accept a wider array of products through the TerraCycle program.
From this point forward, what Mrs. Booth said she’d most like residents to know is that Recycle Brevard is “here as a resource for the community.”
“I hope they also are aware of everything we do, the materials we accept, and our efforts in educating and assisting with recycling,” Mrs. Booth added. “I also hope that more people will be willing to support our efforts by either volunteering, making donations, building connections, etc.”
For more information, visit www.recyclebrevard.org.