Recycling limited to Folsom thanks to animal caretakers, beautification money and a small business idea | St. Tammany Community News

Non-profit animal rescue Big Sky CARES won a grant to partner with a small business to offer limited recycling services in Folsom for a monthly fee starting at $10 for light use.

The Healthy Communities Grant from Keep Louisiana Beautiful, the state’s leading anti-litter and community improvement organization, is providing $5,040 for 2022-2023 that will support a partnership between Animal Rescue and Lemon Tree Recycling, a Covington-based small business that offers curbside pickup and drop-off recycling services. The partnership designates Big Sky CARES’ low-cost community animal clinic and adoption center at 82060 La. 25 in Folsom as a drop-off center for glass and metal recycling, with services available through a monthly subscription.

“Promoting what’s good for people, pets and the planet has always been central to Big Sky’s efforts,” said Catherine Wilbert, Founder and CEO of Big Sky. “We already provide access to low-cost pet care, and now, with support from Keep Louisiana Beautiful, we can provide access to recycling to continue building a healthier community.

“Big Sky will serve as a recycling drop-off center, where families can easily access Lemon Tree’s recycling services for a small fee. Curbside curbside pickup in Folsom is difficult because the homes are so far apart, but Big Sky’s location on a major highway makes recycling drop-off a very convenient option for families from Folsom and points beyond, who care about the environment,” said Wilbert.

Lemon Tree co-founder Andrew Ellzey said the new deal gives the company the ability to serve more customers efficiently, which is key to sustainability.

“It also inspired us to consider cat litter as a potential end product for recycled glass, which can be ground into sand,” Ellzey said. Lemon Tree currently uses sand generated from recycled glass to fill sandbags, which they give to people. The company develops products made from recycled materials that have applications in fighting coastal erosion and supplying filaments for 3D printers.

The monthly subscription fee to drop off recyclable glass and metals at Big Sky CARES is $10 for light use, up to 20 lbs. monthly; $15 for moderate use, 20-40 lbs; and $25 for heavy duty, 40-60 lbs. monthly.

The 501c3 nonprofit animal rescue organization, known as Big Sky Ranch/CATNIP Foundation, is now called Big Sky CARES, and its operation today includes two facilities and more than a dozen programs to keep animals away from shelters. It helps about 3,000 animals a year with rescue programs and low-cost medical care and cares for about 300-350 animals at any one time. Big Sky Ranch, the original rescue site, is now a sanctuary for aging animals and some with special needs.

Lemon Tree Recycling began in 2020 when three friends set out to solve the problem of how much glass was dumped in landfills. Their research revealed a new technology that crushes glass into sand, and in two years, Lemon Tree went from an idea to a fully-fledged, self-sustaining business offering curbside collection and recycling services for glass. and metal.