Hanger recycling helps cleaners, provides work

May 26, 1994|By Consella A. Lee | Consella A. Lee,Sun Staff Writer

When the job of looking for re-usable hangers among those returned by customers began gobbling up too much of its counter clerks' time, Admiral Cleaners went looking for someone else to do the job, and that suits Clyde "Nicky" Nichols just fine.

Mr. Nichols got the job of sorting and stacking re-usable hangers to be shipped back to the cleaners from Baldwin Industries, a division of Providence Center Inc., a nonprofit organization serving mentally and physically challenged people.

Though the work can be dull at times, Mr. Nichols said, he enjoys it and takes pride in it. "I get tired sometimes," he said. "But I got to do it to make my money."

The dry cleaner's recycling efforts benefits workers at Baldwin and the environment, said Shelley Ness, vice president of Admiral.

"We're trying to encourage our customers more and more to recycle their hangers so they don't end up in the landfills or the dumps," said Ms. Ness.

She estimated that each recycled hanger saves Admiral 20 percent on the cost of a new one.

New hangers costs five cents. A recycled one costs a penny, said Ms. Ness.

The dry cleaner's truck dumps off about 4,000 hangers every week at Baldwin's building on Ritchie Highway in Arnold to be recycled.

Mr. Nichols is paid by the piece to toss out bent hangers, sort gold hangers from white hangers and cardboard-tubed hangers from those with paper coverings.

Mary Rodrigues, production manager at the work shelter, said such jobs help build good work habits and help prepare employees to assume a job off the premises.

The workers' self-esteem and self-worth also increases from being able to make their own money, said David Metrinko, the administrator at Baldwin.

"Their level of concentration is amazing," he said.

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