Recycling Buy-Back Center serves customers and gives young adults paid experience during COVID-19

Posted on May 18, 2020

Fresno EOC Local Conservation Corps’ Recycling Program continues to offer services to clients through its Friant Buy-Back center and allows young adults to get paid vocational training. During COVID-19, Corpsmembers can learn the ins and outs of recycling while giving customers cash back for the empty beverage containers.

“The businesses and people are happy we are open,” said Jameelah Palmer-McGee LCC Recycling Supervisor. “Everyone loves that we give as much as we do for our CRVs and they enjoy our customer service. The encounter we can have with people even while social distancing is still positive.”

LCC’s Recycling Program serves businesses, schools, curbside collection, office complexes, government agencies, and campgrounds generating large volumes of beverage containers (aluminum cans, plastic, and glass bottles). The Friant Buyback Center allows customers to redeem their cans and bottles for cash at the site. Since COVID-19, the center has implemented social distancing guidelines to ensure health and safety of the public.

“We want to make sure our customers aren’t in contact with each other.” Paul Reyes Corpsmember said. “We made it a practice for them to come in one at a time and stay in their cars when it’s someone else’s turn.”

Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the center is still seeing a steady flow of customers. “We get quite a bit of business because we are the only ones in the area,” Erica Cortez, Corpsmember said. “Everyone has been stocked up and they are still bringing in a lot of empty bottles. People drop off their recyclables, we sort, organize, and we cash them out.”

Cortez has worked at the Friant Buy-Back Center for a few years and says now she’s more aware of why recycling is so important. She and Reyes are both Corpsmembers getting on-the-job training and working towards their education.

“After going to a Food Distribution I started to learn about Fresno EOC all the opportunities they give to people,” said Reyes. “I’m just trying to pursue my dream. Even if my first step is just completing my high school diploma.”

The Recycling Program allows young adults like those who work at the center to get their high school diploma through the YouthBuild Charter High School of California (YCSC), LCC’s onsite high school. Although campus will remain closed for the remainder of the semester, YCSC has implemented distance learning so students can continue to get credits towards their high school education.

LCC’s paid vocational training also includes construction, public lands, forestry, grounds maintenance, recycling, solar and weatherization and healthcare. Due to COVID-19 staff have been working at a reduced work schedule. Learn more about LCC’s Recycling Program.

Have cans and bottles to recycle? Drop them with us at the Friant Buy-Back Center at 17108 N. Friant Rd., Friant, CA 93626