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Habitat includes recycling in plans for building house

Oct. 26, 2000

By TIMOTHY HROMADKA

Reporter

In exchange for implementing a recycling program, Baylor Habitat for Humanity will get a grant from the Reynolds Corp. for $20,000 -- money that will be used to help build houses for needy Waco families.

The Baylor group, which is still in the process of receiving the grant, will also get money from the recycled materials they get through the recycling program.

Established in 1987, Baylor Habitat for Humanity will soon begin building another house in March 2001. The last home built by Baylor Habitat was in 1997.

'To be considered as a possible family, [the family] must be in economic need, have substandard housing, put in 300 sweat hours [building homes for a recipient family] and pay a no-interest mortgage for 10 to 15 years,' said Ahmed Al-Hafidh, a Hurst junior and Baylor Habitat for Humanity publicity chair.

In order to be eligible, a family must have a median income that is 30 to 55 percent below Waco's average of $35,000. The family ends up paying about $250 a month for the house.

Because Baylor Habitat for Humanity will get money for recycled goods, community involvement in recycling aluminum cans at designated bins can help a family get a better home.

Aluminum cans can be dropped off at recycling bins inside the laundry rooms or mailrooms of these apartment complexes: The Oaks, Studio 20, Casa Royale Apartments, Baylor Arms, The Plaza, St. James Place and Baylor Landing Apartments.

Five other complexes are in the process of added their names to the list.

'We will build a home with the Reynolds grant or not,' said Erin Tompkins, a Houston junior and president of Baylor Habitat for Humanity.

The grant will speed up fund raising but is not vital to the success of the project.

'For the type of house to be built, $36,000 is needed, although most of the materials and labor is donated,' Al-Hafidh said.

According to Tompkins, Baylor Habitat has collected about one-third of the fund-raising money needed.

As the fund raising continues, more organizations are joining in the effort.

'We may get the 7th and James Church to donate their cans to Habitat,' Tompkins said.

Because of this plan, awareness of the importance of recycling is growing, as well as aid in the building of these houses, which Tompkins said was her goal from the start.

'I would really like people to be more aware about recycling,' Tompkins said.

Students can contribute to the Baylor Habitat for Humanity's housing project by recycling and by participating in the actual construction of the house in March.

Currently there are 150 members in the Baylor Habitat for Humanity, but it takes about eight weeks to complete a house, so outside help is welcomed.