Green Vision Inc. is where old electronics go to die…and get reborn.
And this has been a record year on both counts: More than one million pounds of gadgets and gizmos were dismantled and recycled at the Randolph nonprofit in 2017, by a staff composed largely of autistic workers.
The need for recycling is driven by legal requirements to keep poisonous electronics from leaching into water and discharging vapors into the air.
GVI’s competition — automated recycling facilities — simultaneously can shred and separate “e-waste” from non-electronic plastic, metal and glass.
At GVI, however, robots take a back seat to humans.
People enable GVI to compete in the Green Jobs sector. Staff members, clients, their families, industry partners and the community all contribute to a business success story with a proud mission:
Dismantling the stigmas of people with developmental disabilities, GVI work shirts proclaim.
GVI teaches adolescent students and adults on the autistic spectrum how to properly dismantle and recycle unwanted electronics.
Once training is complete, these clients are offered long-term, supported jobs–and a springboard for mainstream employment.
Thanks to this program, citizens with serious behavioral and communication issues now have the opportunity to earn a paycheck.
Tim Butler, president and founder of Green Vision, says: “The guys often spend their money on presents for their families. It’s a huge boost for them to be able buy their Mom dinner at a restaurant.”
Dinner out surely provides a boost to Mom, too.
Teddy and Louis Marcus of Cedar Knolls said one of their biggest fears was that their son Jesse “would have nothing to do during the day and would just become a full-time couch potato. The fact that he has a good job that he can go to every day, is more than we ever could have hoped for.”
“Hey Mom, isn’t this a cool place to work?” Ben, who has an apartment in Maplewood, likes to tell his mother. His parents say they no longer worry about Ben during the day; he feels fulfilled while helping the environment.
Green Vision traces its roots to a “tool time” program in Cedar Knolls. The operation moved to Morris Plains and attained nonprofit status.
Today, the expanding program is across from the County College of Morris in Randolph.
Most of GVI’s 55 client-workers reside in Morris, Sussex, Somerset and Passaic counties. A few commute from Hunterdon, Middlesex and Warren Counties.
“One family moved across state lines to Morristown for the GVI program” says Butler. “Currently we have families considering a move to Morris County if we do not open a facility in Sussex.”
Six client-workers live in Greater Morristown with their families. One lives in a group home and sees family on weekends.
Fulfilling the sustainability side of its businesses plan, Green Vision continues to be 99.7 percent landfill free, providing an environmentally sound solution for electronic waste. Clients keenly are aware of how their work contributes to the environment.
Green Vision also serves the student community by making its business available to fund-raisers.