When officials from a local company were looking to recycle materials from its production operation, they perhaps didn't dream that they could turn to a service organization just down the road from them in Williamsport's Industrial Park.
Now, a collaboration between The Tech Group and North Central Sight Services, is turning out to be of great benefit for both sides. North Central Sight Services, 2121 Reach Road, Williamsport, employs people for the recycling operations. Among the recycling jobs are the paper-shredding and plastics crushing work North Central Sight Services does for The Tech Group, helping the company reduce its operations costs.
North Central Sight Services is able to resell the recyclables, creating revenue for the local agency and providing jobs for the blind and visually impaired people who work there.
Carlene Steinbeck, left, tosses a plastic cassette case to be shredded onto a conveyor belt Thursday at North Central Sight Services in Williamsport.
"We have a lot of people doing recycling who would otherwise not be employed," said North Central Sight Services spokeswoman Lesley Larson.
Considering the unemployment rate for blind/visually impaired people is 70 percent, those are jobs that the organization is happy to provide. Kim Bower, of Williamsport, spends his days shredding paper.
Blind since birth, he said he's happy to have the job.
"We do about two or three bales a day," he said.
On any given day, he shreds thousands of pounds of paper. David Lanzer, director of operations for The Tech Group, said the relationship between his company and North Central Sight Services is a good one.
"It's really something we should have done a long time ago," he said.
Company officials noted that they pay for the recycling services which further helps North Central Sight Services fund its own operations, including the many services it provides to the blind/visually impaired such as vision screenings, financial assistance for eye glasses, and support for those with vision loss.
"That's what I like," Lanzer said. "The company is helping people."
He noted that his company did basically zero recycling up until last year.
That prompted officials to explore recycling possibilities and eventually a meeting was set up between the company and North Central Sight Services.
As a result of recycling, The Tech Group has reduced the amount of materials disposed in the landfill by 27 percent. The Tech Group, in turn, has committed to being the title sponsor in North Central Sight Services' upcoming Golf for Sight Tournament held in collaboration with the Muncy Area Lions.
"It's a win-win situation," Lanzer said.