CARLISLE, Ind. (WTHI) - Recycling in the Hoosier state saw a big jump over the past year, and the trend is even spreading behind bars.
The Wabash Valley Correctional Facility (WVCP) in Carlisle is saving state money by saving trash.
Douge Maples, an offender at the WVCP, takes his job seriously.
Several times a day, Maples sorts through the facility's trash to separate paper, plastic and aluminum into bins.
"The landfills are filling up. Everybody needs to do their part," said Maples.
The correctional facility's recycling program started just last year, but saw a significant increase this summer.
It's not just the prison increasing their eco-friendly work though. Recycling activity across the Wabash Valley increased over the past year.
Indiana State University records show a 79 percent increase in most recycling in the Wabash Valley over the past year.
That increase includes not only recycled materials, but also revenue.
In the month of July, the facility recycled about a 130,000 pounds.
In August, they're almost at 800,000 pounds.
Back at the prison, all of the money made from recycling helps pay for new equipment. The more pounds they can recycle, the more money they can spend on equipment and building projects.
"We not only recycle paper, plastic and aluminum. We've also gotten into the program of recycling copper that we pull out whenever we repair water lines. Brass, aluminum, stainless steel. This all generates money," said Roger Dagley, the Physical Plant Director.
The facility is coming up with creative ways to use some of their recyclable materials. One such way is to beautify their landscaping.
"We took the concrete and we actually went to all the ditches, the drainage ditches at the facility and we've relined them with the concrete, which cuts down on erosion. We have better water run-off, so it's really been a plus," said Dagley.
This makes the efforts of Maples and other offender pay off and give a boost to the prison budget.
The facility's recycling program is expanding into the community.
Right now, the WVCP is partnered with an area junior high school and is looking to partner with more in the community.
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