Green Guys Recycling took Memorial Day flood 'personally'

Senior News Reporter

Green Guys Recycling, a San Marcos company dedicated to household recycling, was affected when some of its employees lost everything during the Memorial Day weekend flooding.

Laura Driver, administrative service manager at Green Guys, said the company’s dedication to disaster relief runs deeper than just its employees’ personal losses.

“When one of your own is affected, even if they are just from your community, it hits you hard,” Driver said. “We took the flood personally.”

She said the company made two donations to the flood-stricken community of over $15,000 after the natural disaster occurred. Employees began collecting scrap metal in San Marcos and Martindale the day after the flood to fund the first donation.

Green Guys Recycling gifted money to the American Red Cross, My Neighbor’s Keeper, United Way of San Marcos and seven other local charities, according to the organization’s Facebook page.

Driver said the city subcontracted the company to help clean up after the flood.

To fund the second donation, Green Guys picked up and weighed scrap metal along with various metal appliances in Wimberley and donated the monetary value back to Hays County, she said.

“We didn’t want to profit from a disaster,” Driver said. “We also wanted to divert (the collected materials) from a landfill.”

According to the Green Guys website, the company gathered over 733,000 pounds of debris from the flood and removed 223,000 pounds of damaged appliances from landfills.

Hays County has accepted money from Green Guys and KVUE in order to create an upstream monitoring system for the Blanco River, stated Laureen Chernow, Hays County communications specialist, in an email.

Driver said the system sets off a trigger warning when floodwater rises upstream in order to alert those who reside downstream.

Six feet of water flooded the Martindale house of a Green Guys Recycling employee during the Memorial Day weekend flood. Driver said everything was ruined by the time it was safe to try to salvage items in the house.

“(The employee) escaped through a window with his dog,” Driver said. “Then he drove off in a pickup truck.”

Driver said Green Guys encountered countless customers who had lost everything due to the flood.

“They were trying to sell metal they collected just so they could have some money to start over with,” Driver said.                                                                                     

My Neighbor’s Keeper, a Wimberley nonprofit that offers cash grants to locals after disasters, was able to distribute $340,000 to the community after the flood. This included money donated by Green Guys Recycling, said Tom Keyser, director of the nonprofit.

Keyser said the grants were available to all Wimberley residents.

“We give undetermined, no-payback grants,” Keyser said. “That means people can use this cash to use for whatever they need.”

Follow Darcy Sprague on Twitter @darcy_days.