Special to the Tribune
LARNED — Sunflower Recycling continues to expand services in Pawnee County.
Sunflower Recycling has signed a contract to serve the Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility.
Sunflower Recycling also has contracts with the Larned State Hospital and other Pawnee County customers. Sunflower works only with entities that the city of Larned does not currently serve.
“The city of Larned has its own recycling operation, including a drop-off service for local and area residents,” said Jim Johnson, Sunflower director. “Sunflower Recycling concentrates on businesses and other locations that are seeking a pick-up service that will make it feasible for them to collect recyclables. We hope to have even more contracts in place in the near future.”
Sunflower provides the collection bins at LCMHF and picks up recyclables once a week.
“This is a great partnership and we appreciate the facility’s leaders who understand how it is mutually beneficial,” Johnson commented. “It also is consistent with our goal of providing service to our five-county community.”
Sunflower Diversified Services, which owns and operates the recycling operation, serves infants, toddlers and adults with developmental disabilities and delays in Barton, Pawnee, Rice, Rush and Stafford counties.
The non-profit agency’s recycling drop-off site and processing plant in Great Bend, along with its many business contracts in the area provide dozens of jobs for people with disabilities.
“By increasing our routes in Pawnee County, individuals have more options for community employment,” Johnson said. “And the wages earned enable people to live in homes of their choosing instead of Sunflower-owned group homes.
“They spend their paychecks locally and rent from community landlords rather than returning the money to Sunflower,” he elaborated. “The quality of an employment program is best measured by the level of earnings and the control a person has over how those earnings are spent.”
Recycling operations also provide additional revenue to Sunflower’s support services. “We always look for ways to increase revenues,” Johnson said. “It helps us provide more services and therapies that allow people to live more independently.”
Pawnee County operates a transfer station for its waste, which is hauled to the Barton County Landfill.
“Therefore, the recyclables reduce the amount of material transported, which extends the life of the landfill,” Johnson said. “This is good for the taxpayer, those who pay landfill fees and the environment.”
John Lampe, LCMHF business administrator, said the contract with Sunflower is a perfect fit for his facility financially and environmentally.
“Sunflower is providing a great service at no cost to us,” Lampe said. “It makes perfect financial sense and it was a welcome offer by a very important and respected organization.
“Recycling helps us improve and maintain a clean environment for all Kansans,” Lampe said. “We appreciate the chance to help Sunflower individuals work in productive jobs.”
For more Sunflower Recycling information, contact Sarah Krom, 620-792-1321.