Recycling proposal discussed

Beverly Bryant - April 4, 2017 4:05 pm

Three of Ponca City’s five City Commissioners were present Monday for a discussion with the staff of Supported Community Lifestyles on a proposal which would turn over operations of the Ponca City Recycling Center to SCL.

City Manager Craig Stephenson said staffs of the City of Ponca City and SCL have been meeting to discuss the proposal since last fall.  A conceptual agreement has been formed which would allow SCL to operate under an agreement to continue to accept the same categories of recyclable materials with SCL providing labor, supervision and training.

SCL has requested adding a vertical baler to the Recycling Center to compact and bind cardboard.

Stephenson said the City of Ponca City proposes constructing a 20 x 30 x 12 foot building for the baler, costing an estimated $45,000, and a fence, which would cost an estimated $12,000. The new building would be north of the current paint recycling building. The city also would compensate SCL workers $2,500 per month and provide free electricity to the operation,  he said. The $2,500 comes from a vacant position that will not be filled, he said.

SCL would operate the center on Saturdays and Sundays, as well as three other days per week for a total of 40 hours; and provide liability insurance.

Ron Hammock, the owner of SCL, said SCL is a Ponca City company that has been in business for 13 years. The company provides services for clients with developmental disabilities who also have behavioral issues, known as dual diagnosis, he said.

SCL operates 170 clients in Ponca City, Enid, Stillwater and Tulsa, with 60 clients in Ponca City, Hammock said. They live on their own, with family, or in one of 16 group homes in Kay County and 44 group homes statewide. There are 200 staff members in Kay County, he said. The group homes have 24-hour supervision.

Some of  the SCL clients would be unable to work because of physical disabilities, Hammock said.

State law would prohibit anyone convicted of a violet felony or a sexual conviction from working in a setting like the recycling plant, he said. Of all the clients served by SCL, only 10 have convictions of this type.

If SCL is allowed to take over the recycling center, Hammock said, a second phase would be developed that would provide curbside recycling to homeowners who want the service. Homeowners would have a voluntary, direct contract with SCL and the City of Ponca City would not be involved.

Hammock said SCL is one of the top five programs serving dual diagnosis clients in the state, and one of the top five employers in Kay County.

Stephenson said the clients working at the recycling center would all be paid at least minimum wage.

Currently, SCL offers 12 different jobs and each client has a job coach in a therapeutic environment. Income from the sale of recyclable materials will help pay the salaries of the job coaches.





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