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Press Release

Release Date: January 02, 2019

by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

  • The Chickasaw Nation Reuse Center in Ada.

  • The ReUse Center gives price-conscious customers a way to find unique items for personal use and helps keep reusable items out of landfills.

The Chickasaw Nation ReUse Center has received the Keep Oklahoma Beautiful (KOB) 2018 Visionary Leadership Award. The award demonstrates the Chickasaw Nation’s unique efforts toward environmental and community improvement, and the tribe’s ability to inspire others to emulate or adopt that philosophy.

The ReUse Center, located in Ada, has accounted for more than 211,000 pound of reusable materials – clothes, household items and construction materials – from finding its way into Oklahoma landfills in 2018. Open to the general public, last year alone more than 16,000 people were able to benefit from these gently used items.

According to Mac Peterson, Environmental Section Head for the Chickasaw Nation, donating items to the ReUse Center helps both the environment and those in need.

“If you have something that you don’t want anymore, don’t let it go to the landfill,” Peterson said. “Bring it to the ReUse Center and we will make sure it goes to someone in the community who needs it. Something as small as a working coffeepot can be a big help to someone who might not be able to afford one.”

The ReUse Center hosts an annual document-shredding event that provides the public an opportunity to properly dispose of unwanted paper documents in an environmentally conscious way.

Collaborating with the Ada Recycling Coalition and its annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection event, latex paints and stains – among other hazardous chemicals – are collected to be properly disposed of or distributed for community use at the ReUse Center.

Chickasaw Nation ReUse Center – A Template for Others

The ReUse Center began in 2010 and community support continues to grow. It is common for up to 30 people to be lined up waiting for opening, and donations continually pour in. According to Peterson, this has equated to preventing approximately 700 tons of household items from entering landfills.

The success of the Chickasaw Nation ReUse Center has been recognized and studied by others.

“Any community or (Native American) tribe can have their own ReUse Center,” Peterson said. “We have had community leaders come in to see how we work. We want to be part of the community – to be environmental stewards.”

KOB and Environmental Excellence Awards

Keep Oklahoma Beautiful (KOB) is a statewide nonprofit organization founded in 1965 and is a state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, which is a nonprofit organization with a national network of nearly 1,000 participating organizations working together to improve communities through litter prevention, waste reduction and beautification.

The culmination of each year’s work is the annual, statewide awards competition, leading to the annual Environmental Excellence Celebration. Well-attended and greatly anticipated, the November event recognizes the best of the best in Oklahoma environmental stewardship.