Colorado Springs recycling company recognized for environmental efforts and inclusive workforce

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COLORADO SPRINGS — Blue Star Recyclers in Colorado Springs was awarded the 2020 24-Karat Gold Award by the Colorado Environmental Leadership Program.

The company started in 2009, since then they say they’ve been hard at work finding solutions for problems affecting the community.

“Less than 20 percent of people with a diagnosed disability are meaningfully employed and we wanted to make a dent in that problem and at the same time less than 20 percent of electronic waste in the United States is ethically recycled,” said Blue Star Recyclers Co-founder Bill Morris.

The company has locations throughout the state of Colorado and the nation. As of now, more than 50 people with disabilities have been able to find permanent work at Blue Star Recycling.

“This workforce possesses innate talents and assets with the work we do meaning they are hardwired to do detail, systematic, repetitive work and outperform and outscore their traditional counterparts,” Morris explained.

Blue Star is credited for recycling more than 23 million pounds of electronic waste and other materials, including batteries and fluorescent bulbs along with a reduction of 2 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions and diverted more than two million pounds of toxic materials from landfills and other illegal disposal sites. 

“They work with a community of individuals who may not have jobs and work, they’ve more than accomplished their goals” said Lynette Myers, ELP Coordinator, CDPHE.

The 24-Karat Gold Award is given by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Members within their Gold Leader program voted Blue Star as this year’s winner for their ongoing contribution to the environment, the economy and the community.

Morris said the company is in the process of working out a plan with District 11 that will give high schoolers the opportunity to develop skills to come and work for them.

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