When a large batch of men’s apparel remained in good condition at the end of its previous uniform contract, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District’s (NEORSD) Operations & Maintenance procurement administrator Delilah Capeles knew the quality durable garments deserved extended use — and could serve a better purpose than disposal.
The NEORSD Board of Trustees approved Capeles’ request to donate the used inventory Jan. 7, She then set out to find partners able to receive and distribute the garments to those who needed them most. Beginning Feb. 8, the NEORSD stockroom staff personally delivered shipments to three local agencies: The City Mission, St. Herman’s House and Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry.
“The vast majority of unwanted or unneeded clothing in the United States is landfilled,” said Sustainability Program Manager Marie Fechik-Kirk. “We not only reduced our waste and allowed for reuse of materials, Delilah found an opportunity for us to contribute to our community.”
“There was a team effort over a few months to find the best possible solution to reusing versus land filling these uniforms,” Capeles added. “I am very happy the pants will have a second useful life helping those in need.”
The NEORSD – the largest wastewater treatment provider in the State of Ohio – leads effective wastewater and stormwater management in the Greater Cleveland area. The District spans 380 square miles, serves 62 communities and 1 million residents, and treats 90 billion gallons of wastewater a year.