Klamath Falls, OR

OIT Students tour REACH INC’s Recycling Education Center in Klamath Falls, Oregon

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Klamath Falls—Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT) students, led by Professor Lloyd Parrot, recently toured Klamath Fall’s material recovery facility (MRF) and a recycling education campus at REACH Inc, a non profit (503 C3), on a field trip associated with their Introduction to Environmental Science 111 class.

Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT) students, led by Professor Lloyd Parrot, recently toured Klamath Fall’s material recovery facility (MRFTodd Gessele

From the outside, REACH appears to be a wood mill, but inside it is a community, where disabled adults are cared for and employed.Todd Gessele

From the outside, REACH appears to be an wood mill, but inside it is a community, where disabled adults and those with barriers to employment, can earn minimum wage or better improving the environment! As the Basin's newest recycling education center, REACH invites students and faculty from other area schools to schedule tours by calling (541) 882-8803.

Founding in 1968 by Zelda Langdale, the REACH educational center, exists to care for, train and employ disabled adults.Todd Gessele

Greg Stathos, REACH’s acting executive director, guided the tour of the recycling campus. “Everything you see here is all about caring. Caring for the environment, but most importantly about caring for challenged adults with disabilities. REACH provides paid work, dignity, purpose and a community of love and support.”

The pandemic did affect the amount of paper and cardboard that was recovered for recycling. REACH partners with Klamath Works, who operates the sort line, recycles old mattresses, shreds documents, and bales cardboard and metal. The sort line was completely shut down for the health and safety of REACH’s participants during Covid. Now recycling activities are back up and running. Recycling continues to be a better economic option than the land fill.

Fun Fact: Recycling contributes over 117 billion in economic activities a year. These numbers tell the story of a vibrant industry!

In the mill, REACH creates custom pallets for companies across Oregon from scrap lumber plywood mills reject. Any broken pallets, scrap wood, or sawdust created is carefully recycled. The public can purchase firewood bundles or pallets for their projects directly from REACH INC at 2350 Maywood Dr, Klamath Falls, OR 97603.

OIT Student stand in front of the recycling sort line that was customized and installed at REACH Inc.Todd Gessele

Have you explored REACH’s Upcycle Store in the parking lot of Fred Meyers in Klamath Falls? It is a great place to find used books to purchase and read! The REACH Upcycle Store was opened to accomplish two main goals. The first is to provide retail sales training and work experience for our participants. The second is to sell upcycled products including ReachWood furniture, participant art, used books, magazines and other seasonal décor. There are corn hole games and patriotic wooden American flags and more!

Do you have any landscaping jobs for REACH's participants? Reach has two landscaping crews which work M-F in the community for citizens and businesses. REACH's janitorial crews are also looking for potential cleaning assignments which could be accomplished during the day.

Giving Tuesday is Nov. 28, 2022! REACH Inc, welcomes donations of sensory toys, musical instruments, arts and craft supplies, working smart TV’s, Puzzles, Books, new AA and AAA batteries, board games, tissue boxes, Balsa wood projects, birdhouses that can be painted by participants, blank artist canvases, paint brushes, and massage chairs in working order. Any landscaping tools, mowers, weed eaters, blowers, etc. REACH always needs low mileage semi-tractors, 15 passenger vans, landscaping trailers, and or monetary charitable donations for specific project or for REACH's general operating fund are appreciated.

Many in the community are naming REACH INC as beneficiary when updating their will, life insurance policies, or bank accounts this holiday season. Will you join them and leave a legacy?

Please download the Newsbreak app and follow Totally INSPIRED Media INC. This article is published by Todd Gessele as a public service and community voice in Klamath County.

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