iBerkshires.com  reports BFAIR's bottle redemption center now has new, safer and more ergonomic collection carts thanks to the efforts of the students in McCann Technical School's metal fabrication department.
A further motivation for two of the students was that the project was requested by their mothers — both of whom work for BFAIR.
Berkshire Family and Individual Resources offers clinical support services, individual services, case management and employment training for people with disabilities. The agency has been operating the redemption center at 1000 Massachusetts Ave. since 2009 and purchased the business in June.
The metal carts used to move the bottles and cans around were low and had side openings large enough for smaller bottles to fall out. And with upwards of 12,000 to 20,000 pieces a day, that's a lot of cans and bottles to process.
"Our biggest goal, when we took this place over, was to try to make it safer for the individuals to work," McAllister said. So she and Theresa Gelinas, senior vice president of day services, turned to McCann for a solution.
Gelinas' son Nathan Biagini and McAllister's son Evan are both sophomores in the metal fabrication program. With their classmates Michael Harris and Carter Foucher, they made three carts that sit higher so employees can reach in easier and with grate sides so nothing falls out.
The three carts were primed and delivered last week and the students arrived at the redemption center on Wednesday afternoon to finish painting them blue.