The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

April 20, 2013

Wyandotte Tribe recycling center is under way

By Roger McKinney
Globe Staff Writer

WYANDOTTE, Okla. — The Wyandotte Tribe’s new Lost Creek Recycling Center is in operation.

Wyandotte tribal chief Billy Friend formally opened the center in an April 11 ceremony.

The recycling center is in a 4,000-square-foot building at 4 Lost Creek Drive, behind the Bearskin Fitness Center. It’s open to the community and surrounding area from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Friday. It includes 24-hour drop boxes for after-hours drop-offs.

Part of the funding for the project was from a $104,000 cooperative national grant from the Environmental Protection Agency, Indian Health Services and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. It was one of just five such grants awarded nationwide. An Indian Reservation Roads grant will pay the cost of the center’s driveway and parking lot. The tribe paid the remaining cost. Total cost of the project is around $200,000. Construction started in August 2012.

The tribe will collect and sell the recyclables. The center accepts paper, plastic, cardboard, tin and aluminum. Electronic waste will be collected during special events.

Christen Lee, tribal environmental director, said the tribe used community input early in the process to develop its plan.

Friend conducted a smoking ceremony and asked for blessings for the building and the work done there.

“The work done here will not only be beneficial to our generation, but several generations ahead as we work toward preserving and protecting the environment,” Friend said in a news release.

The tribe plans to work with area schools, Scout groups, 4-H groups and other organizations on recycling projects.

Environmental Festival

The sixth annual Wyandotte Nation Environmental Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday and Friday, May 2 and 3, at the Wyandotte Nation Powwow Grounds, five miles east of Wyandotte on U.S. Highway 60.