Construction crews on our Saginaw Trail Pipeline project consume a lot of canned beverages – and sometimes toss the aluminum containers in the trash.
Enter Clio’s Boy Scout Troop 602, which recently built and delivered a large, wire mesh, enclosed bin to collect cans at our pipe yard in Thetford Township near Flint.
Throughout the construction season, the Boy Scouts plan to return the cans for recycling and collect the deposit — potentially thousands of dollars — to help pay for camp fees and equipment.“This partnership is just wonderful,” said Jill Ashmore, who helps lead the scout troop that includes her 12-year-old son Nicholas. “I’m just in shock and humbled and grateful for all the opportunity given to us by Consumers Energy.”
The Saginaw Trail Pipeline project is a four-phase, $610 million effort to modernize our natural gas infrastructure in Saginaw, Genesee and Oakland counties. The first two phases are complete and construction on the third phase — a reroute of almost 30 miles of pipeline near Flint — is scheduled to begin in May.
Tom Hess, one of the environmental experts working on the project, hatched the idea when he saw Troop 602’s trailer parked in a yard near the construction right-of-way this spring. A knock on the door of the home quickly led to a connection with Ashmore, a school paraprofessional who volunteers as secretary of the 20-member troop that includes boys in grades six through 12.
With help from a couple troop dads, the scouts fired up saw and drills and built the can collection bin at a recent work camp, earning credit for their woodworking merit badges along the way.
“It took about three hours and the boys really enjoyed learning how to use the power tools,” Ashmore said.
The scouts then loaded the finished bin into the bed of the scout master’s pickup and delivered it to our pipe yard on April 19.
The cans are already beginning to pile up. The scouts plan to collect them regularly and those who participate will receive a portion of the proceeds toward their individual summer camp fees.
The rest of the money will help fund equipment such as new all-weather tents to let the troop participate in winter camping trips.
For Hess, the partnership is a win on multiple fronts and represents our commitment to supporting the communities we serve.
“This will reclaim the aluminum resource, provide revenue to the scouts and foster positive connections in the community,” he said.
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