CHICAGO (CBS) — A shop in northwest suburban Wood Dale is not only recycling unwanted paint, but is also helping the environment.
As CBS 2′ Suzanne Le Mignot reports, even more than that, EarthPaint.org focuses on employing people with special needs.
“They took me in when everybody else didn’t. All the people dropped me and Chris took me in.”
That’s Randy Shideler talking about his boss, EarthPaint.org founder Chris McCarthy.
In Wood Dale, the non-profit’s mission is to recycle old paint and provide jobs for people with special needs.
“I started to realize that everyone has an ability and EarthPaint was born based on the abilities of those who typically weren’t evened considered for employment,” McCarthy said.
A a painter, Chris got tired of seeing unwanted, perfectly good paint go to waste, mostly ending up in landfills. Now, contractors and the public can drop off their unwanted containers for a small fee.
Currently, there are 37 locations in the Chicago area.
“We’ve diverted 66,000 containers last year away from landfills and 80% of it is becoming a brand new paint. It’s a really cool process you can see from beginning to end,” McCarthy said.
The result a higher quality paint with more than 40 colors to choose from. And as Randy’s mom explains, EarthPaint is a success at not only at helping the environment, but helping people with disabilities thrive.
“He wakes up in the morning wanting to come and be a part of it. He feels part of the team. It’s like a second home for him,” said Randy’s mother, Patty Johnstone.
“His mom came to us and said ‘what did you do to my kid?’ He’s a different person. He’s happier,” she said.
“Thank you for making me part of your family and accepting me for who I am,” Randy said.
EarthPaint.org started back in 2013. McCarthy said they are the only place on earth that has figured out how to recycle and disassemble plastic paint cans to recycle, all done by hand.