Mount Carmel BVMs Find New Ways to Recycle

At Mount Carmel in Dubuque, Iowa, recycling is almost a way of life for the resident sisters. Guiding their efforts is the Mount Carmel ‘Green Team,’ a committee comprised of sisters and staff who are always on the lookout for new and innovative ways to recycle. And in their efforts to recycle and help the earth, the BVMs are also engaged in their ministry of helping the less fortunate.

“We are registered with TerraCycle, a company that recycles items normally not recyclable,” says Julie O’Neill, BVM, who serves as unofficial chair of the Green Team committee. In September 2014 the sisters mailed recycled items to TerraCycle’s warehouse and later learned they were one of the winners for that month. Their prize was ten cases of Huggies diapers.

“We didn't have to think too hard or too long to realize that the perfect place to send them was Maria House in Dubuque, a transitional home for women and children,” says Julie. On Dec. 11, BVMs (photo, l. to r.) Mary McCauley (Mercedie), Sue Rink (Michaela) and Julie O’Neill helped to deliver ten cases (almost 1,000 diapers) to the shelter.

The recycling company pays the postage for the mailed recyclable items sent, as well as 2 cents per item. The sisters embarked on this particular project about two years ago, and this year they have earned about $200 from recycling oral care items, drinking cups, and other plastic products. All money earned goes to the BVM Hunger Fund.

“The Mount Carmel Green Team is thrilled with the results of our ongoing recycling efforts,” Julie shares.