KEI (Kuntz Electroplating Inc.)

What do you do with your milk bags?

March 2nd, 2018

At the suggestion of Lisa Norton, Accounts Receivable in KEI’s main office, Lisa had recently seen on Facebook that Community Living Cambridge’s Franklin Centre (formerly ARC Industries or the Franklin Centre) had started to collect milk bags to offer a new program for their participants of making milk bag beds for disaster relief areas (Haiti) and for our region’s homeless.

 Visiting Franklin Centre Independent Living with Karen Ferguson, KEI Reflections learned that this program had just started at the end of January of this year. Each bed or mat needs approximately 500 milk bags (the “bag” that holds the 4 liters of milk) that are then “woven” together to create 1 mat. When a mat is completed, they are waterproof, bug proof, mildew proof and can last a recipient up to 25 years! Milk bags mats have proven to be very resilient as they are UV protectant, strong (yet soft) as the thicker plastic that they are constructed from does not easily break down.

At the centre, approx 25 of their 80-90 participants are currently working on their third mat. They are assisted by staff members, volunteers and students who are currently on placement from Conestoga or Mohawk colleges. Each mat takes approximately 3 weeks to complete. The centre has started to build a second frame so that they could complete two mats at the same time.

It takes patience, teamwork and a lot of milk bags to weave together a mattress, but that is just the sort of activity Community Living in Cambridge is looking for — one where the process of creating is just as important as the end result. It allows participants to give back while learning new skills along the way.

Other projects participants work on include vegetable gardening, assisting the Galt Horticultural with mulching and planting, painting and artesian crafts. In addition to this, participants enjoy Xbox bowling, outdoor walking, karaoke and enjoy when pet therapy dogs visit the centre.

The funding for Community Living Cambridge is provided by our provincial Ministry of Community and Social Services; but they also do their own fundraising including their yearly November fashion show at Bingeman Park called “Fabulous Fashions.”

 Let’s make this program a win/win for all and help us help them by bringing in your milk bags to KEI’s main Reception area, Human Resources or to our new, Milk Bag Drop Off Box located in our Main Lunchroom.

Projects such as this assist our sustainability efforts and keep milk bags out of our landfills.