POCATELLO, Idaho - Local communities are observing Earth Day, while taking a deeper look into what they are doing to better preserve the environment.
On Tuesday the Pocatello Goodwill store manager Kurt DeCoria said the organization recycled 338,000 pounds of household goods within this past year alone. Looking at all 14 of its stores, that number spikes up to 8,467,000 pounds.
"We feel as if a lot of people do not understand that we really are an outlet to recycle household items such as clothing," DeCoria said.
He said Goodwill keeps track of its output in all of its stores and found that for every 10,000 pounds of products donated, 36 jobs are created. This compares to the six jobs created when that same amount is thrown away.
DeCoria said these recycled clothes that aren't swept off the store shelves are donated to other second-hand stores* and 93% of the revenue from every dollar earned on the products Goodwill does sell goes toward the services it offers such as the Working Solutions program. This program helps individuals who are down on their luck, dress for success in order to get back up on their feet during the job search.
But the green movement doesn't just stop with Goodwill.
This past year the city of Pocatello did its part to be a competitive green machine, creating several new environmentally-friendly services.
The city created its Curbside Recycling program, and within this year, its success rate skyrocketed, raking-in a 76% participation rate within the community, collecting 200 tons of recyclables each month, and saving nearly $60,000 each year in landfill costs.
The city's environmental coordinator Hannah Sanger estimated more than 7,000 people from around the community visited the annual Environmental Fair this past weekend. She said the strong turnout is just one example of how the community wants the best for our natural land resources.
"I think it shows that people care about where they live," Sanger said. "People care about the Portneuf Valley, and people want to do the right thing. I mean, they want to make sure they're not contaminating our drinking water and they're interested in making sure we have clean air."
The city's sanitation department also noted that we toss 1,536 tons of garbage into the county landfill each month, and that number could be reduced by about half since 40% of what we throw away is made-up of paper and plastic.
Or, in Goodwill's case - clothes.
The department said with the city's recycling program in full-swing, it now collects 200 tons of recyclables each month.
So, when you have a way to save the environment while saving some green in your wallet, we can count that as another win for the environment.
*UPDATE: A Goodwill representative tell us the store does not donate to other second-hand stores, but rather sell it to a third party that recycles the product.