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Choctaw Nation Recycles Everything from Newspapers to Electronics

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The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma is getting greener by the minute, and ditching some clutter in the process.

Thanks to a U.S. Department of Energy Energy Efficiency Community Block Grant, the tribe opened a recycling center in Durant, Oklahoma, that is saving energy, reducing landfill buildup and overall helping the nation in its ongoing attempts to honor the land its people are charged with caring for.

It’s also creating jobs. The facility employs four people who receive and sort newspaper, office paper, shredded paper, magazines, catalogs, plastic numbered one, two and five, and aluminum cans, steel cans, cell phones, printer cartridges and cardboard at its 30,350-square-foot facility.

Since December 1, when it opened, the center has collected more than 700 printer cartridges, 2,700 pounds of aluminum cans and nearly 135,000 pounds of plastic bottles, various paper and cardboard, the Choctaw Nation said in a press release, and a January 22 E-Waste Recycle Day netted nearly 37,000 pounds of electronic material waste.

The center is the first of its kind. Before this there was no public recycling facility within the 10.5-county area for businesses and individuals, the nation said.

“The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma is a large entity, and it is encouraging to know that we have employees who care about our environment,” said Chief Gregory Pyle in the tribe’s statement. “They have devoted many hours to finding solutions, from handing out ‘green’ cups to reduce the use of Styrofoam to opening this fantastic facility. It fulfills a need in the Durant area, giving everyone an opportunity to recycle.”