Submitted by Shirley Pratt, Ark Regional Services

Ark Regional Services has been in the business of recycling for 30 years. In 1983 we identified recycling as a unique opportunity for people with developmental disabilities to experience meaningful employment. As our recycling efforts grew, so did the revenue we were able to earn. In the early to mid 90’s our recycling program provided enormous financial benefits for Ark’s many programs. Unfortunately, as our recycling efforts grew, we shifted to more sophisticated equipment, and there were fewer opportunities for people with disabilities to hold meaningful employment.

The mission of Ark Regional Services is to facilitate opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live, learn, work, and play. Although we are in the recycling business, we are not a recycling business. Recycling only makes sense if we are able to provide meaningful jobs for people with disabilities or make enough money to bolster the funding for our primary services. At this time, neither of these objectives is being met, so we must consider how recycling fits into our future.

Ark Recycling Services experienced significant financial losses in Fiscal Year 2013. Ark Recycling Services is currently losing approximately $35 for each ton of glass we recycle; therefore, effective November 1, 2013, Ark Recycling Services will no longer accept glass for recycling. We will no longer have drop off bins located around the City of Laramie since the overwhelming majority of what is placed in the bins is glass. We will still accept other recyclable materials and purchase aluminum cans at our recycling center located at 222 Baker Street.

The city wide drop off bin program and glass recycling are services we have been proud to provide for Laramie residents for many years, but we must now make difficult choices in order to ensure that our principal services remain financially viable. We thank you for your continued support and your understanding as we make this change.