CHICKASAW, Ala. (WKRG) – Ransom Ministries was started in 2010 by a local couple that opened a cafe where people could get a hot meal and pay whatever they could afford. Since then, Ransom has expanded to include more cafe locations and has also added programs such as job readiness and skills training courses. One of these programs is called Ransom Recycle which takes a chance of old electronic items by recycling them for free while also helping struggling people in our community.
Matt Armbruster, Executive Director of Ransom Ministries, says they recycled 325 tons of electronic waste per year. That is 650,000 pounds of metal, plastic, and chemicals that would have ended up sitting in a landfill. Next year, Armbruster is expecting to triple that amount with a new machine that will increase the amount that is recycled. This is so important since just Mobile and Baldwin counties produce over 12 million pounds of electronic waste per year.
With Ransom Ministries, it is not only the electronics that are getting a second chance. The people they hire are also looking for a new start.
“The ones we are really trying to reach are the ones that are coming out of incarceration, addiction or homelessness,” says Armbruster. The employees go through a 90 day program where they get paid to work at the recycling center while also learning other skills such as how to do a resume, shake hands when they meet somebody and how to do a mock interview. They also get a forklift certification which will help them get a job after they graduate. The program has an 85% graduation rate with 87% of those staying employed at least one year.
“This place has had a really big impact on my life and I wouldn’t be where I am at today without Ransom,” says Amanda Hulsey, one of these graduates that now works for the program. She says that she is using the skills she learned at Ransom Ministries to complete medical coding and billing classes in hopes of working in that field.
To recycle your electronics, you can drop them off at Ransom Ministries in Chickasaw or at the Mobile Recycling Center on Hitt Road. For large donations, you can also request a pickup.
For more information including a full list of what items you can recycle with Ransom, head to https://bit.ly/3IzvnLY.