Weekly Feature



2018-02-07 / Local News

Empower opens new center in North Tonawanda

Empower, the nonprofit organization formerly known as Niagara Cerebral Palsy, has opened a second bottle and can redemption center, called Empties for Empower, at 3571 Niagara Falls Blvd. in North Tonawanda.

Empties for Empower is an integrated work setting. Workers include people with and without disabilities who work alongside one another to greet customers, sort and count containers, and handle cash transactions.

According to Empower, workers earn a wage while gaining valuable experience and skills that equip them for jobs in the community.

This is a free service that anyone can use. Individuals, nonprofits, community organizations and businesses drop off their bottles and cans for free sorting and return of their full deposit.

Empower earns 35 cents for every container processed. So far, $127,876 has been raised, providing an alternate revenue stream to offset government cuts and to sustain the supports and services that Empower provides.

In addition to the Wheatfield facility, Empower operates another redemption center at 4701 Military Road, near the Route 31 intersection, in the Town of Niagara.

Both locations are open from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. There is also a 24-hour drop-off bin outside the 4701 Military Road location. Customers who create accounts will be credited for drop-offs made after hours.

“Since the first redemption center opened in 2016, there have been so many unexpected positive impacts, from unwavering community support to the progress workers have made in realizing their potential,” said Empower’s chief executive officer Jeff Paterson. “It’s awesome to see workers who were once shy greet return customers by name and with a smile. I urge everyone to stop by and give us a try.”

Licensed by the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities and the New York State Education Department, Empower is an affiliate of the Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State.

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