GALVESTON — A Galveston ministry has initiated a curbside recycling program for environmentally conscious islanders.

Galveston Urban Ministries’ recycling program Go Green Galveston, or G3 for short, began Oct. 15 to create new jobs and raise awareness about the environment.

In the five months since it began, the program has employed three people to pick up the recyclables, but the ministry’s staff hopes more will join the efforts.

“We hope to have three to five employees for the G3 project by the end of the year,” said Josh Dorrell, executive director of Galveston Urban Ministries.

G3 has collected more than 850 pounds of recyclable goods since October, delivering the items to the city of Galveston Eco Center on 61st Street.

“Once the Galveston Eco Center receives the recyclables, they contract with various agencies to further the recyclables process,” Dorrell said. “Meaning, glass, plastic, etc., goes to its own company to be recycled and used.”

Those interested in signing up for Go Green Galveston services can join through its website at Members pay $30 a month for pickups every Tuesday or Thursday.

Rob Buschmann has always tried being environmentally friendly and has been using the service since October.

“We signed up as soon as the program began,” Buschmann said. “My wife and I have been taking our recycling to the recycling center in town since we moved here in 2011, but we always have a huge amount, and G3 helps with that.”

Buschmann said he would recommend the service to other islanders.

“It’s a win in so many ways — providing jobs and quality job training here on the island while making the environmentally conscious choice the easy choice,” he said.

Galveston Urban Ministries is accepting applications for potential employees to contribute to the effort.

Go Green Galveston is just one of the many programs associated with Galveston Urban Ministries. Members of the church have also created programs such as Youth Go Green Global, which assembles solar panels for developing countries in need of electricity and provides skills for young people before they are eligible for the job market.

“We like to get to know our community and ask what they think they need and what the community needs,” said Eric Harry, youth and social enterprise director at Galveston Urban Ministries. “We did a survey with our youth, and one of the things we put on the list was jobs. All of our kids chose jobs as an essential need.”

The program employs two part-time teenagers with four interns ages 12 to 14, and Harry plans to include water harvesting, composting and community gardening into the fray.

“We wanted to create something that had purpose and offer life skills to help them move along,” Harry said. “We assembled 30 solar panels kits, including LED lights. We hook up everything and package it.”

Harry said he sent the 30 assembled solar panels to a church in Austin, which then sent the panels to Uganda, where electricity is in short supply.

“We would love for Galvestonians to sign up for the G3 program and purchase solar lights kits for themselves or for folks in developing countries to provide clean, renewable lighting,” Dorrell said.

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