Green Planet 21 and Clausen House recently collaborated on a pilot program for training developmentally disabled adults in recycling work. The Clausen House trainees established a busy rhythm of unpacking, partially disassembling, removing lithium batteries and separating all of the recyclable parts from 5500 non-working drones.  Working temporarily alongside full time recycling workers in our Oakland facility, four workers and one job coach spent several weeks learning how to recycle the materials that made up the toy drones and their packaging.

Our customer delivered the drones to us for product destruction, a service we provide when products cannot be sold and the customer wants to recycle as much waste as possible. It may be that the product does not work, there were production mistakes, packaging problems, returned products no longer sellable, or, for some other reason that the distribution centers or manufacturers are storing unsellable goods. Our customers do not want any of their products that do not meet quality standards to leak out into the marketplace and potentially damage their reputation or the brand associated with their manufactured products. When we destroy product, we recycle as much as possible of the materials involved.

Gordon Rogers, the CFO of Green Planet 21 has long been supportive of Clausen House. He currently serves as the President of the Board for the local Oakland non-profit that works to help developmentally disabled adults live more independent lives. Gordon saw that this destruction project could become a job training lab for Clausen House. The pilot program for training in recycling was developed with Clausen House Executive Director Jaynette Underhill and Supported Employment Director Veronica M. Santana of Clausen House and Avi Pogel and General Manager Michael Swernoff of Green Planet 21.