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  • Writer's pictureGreater Springfield Habitat for Humanity

Recycling donations important to GSHFH

At Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (GSHFH), “recycle for good” is more than a hashtag or catchphrase. In fact, over the past several years, it’s the frame of mind that has financially benefitted the affiliate as well as the environment.

A social media post thanking the Belchertown Twirlers for their efforts to collect aluminum cans at a May 2023 event in Holyoke.

In May 2021, Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) and Novelis introduced a collaboration and invited Habitat affiliates to participate. The Novelis Affiliate Recycling Program asked affiliates to collect aluminum cans in exchange for a grant. Greater Springfield Habitat has earned roughly $6,000 and kept many cans out of the landfill.

“Those who donate trash bags of cans and bottles to our recycling events, it probably doesn’t seem like much on the surface, but those cans and bottles help us take part in a grant sponsored by Novelis. Over the last year, those donated items along with the grant funds have brought our organization enough to cover the cost of one repair project for a disabled veteran,” said Aimee Giroux, GSHFH executive director.

The program goal is simple. Novelis, an international leader in aluminum rolling and recycling, provides collection bins. Each quarter, the donated cans are weighed and the weight is reported back to Novelis. A large sum grant is awarded to the affiliate that collects the most cans and a smaller amount is donated to participating organizations.

According to an HFHI infographic, the aluminum donations can go a long way. The cost of a 2x4 beam is the equivalent of 400 cans. A mailbox is 3,000 cans. A window is 11,000 cans. A front door is 22,000 cans, and a 1,200-square-foot roof is 400,000 cans.

Since 2021, several businesses, including All States Transport (AST), SR Commercial Realty, Reminder Publications, Lock and Key Realty; Shatz, Schwartz, and Fenin; and Romeo Athletics in Enfield, Connecticut, have participated in the initiative by allowing a bin in their businesses and donating the contents to GSHFH. Other donations came from individuals, including Trina Winans.

“I believe in the organization and the importance of making a difference in people’s lives,” Trina said.

To get your bin, call (413) 739-5503. Cans can be dropped off at 268 Cold Spring Ave in West Springfield. To schedule a pick up, call (413) 739-5503. Greater Springfield Habitat will also accept recyclable glass and plastic beverage bottles.


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