Green Abilities gives people with disabilities job opportunities

September 8, 2013

Three years ago, Julie Rizzo created Green Abilities. It is designed to give people with disabilities jobs working with wasted granite.

Recycled Granite is located at Opportunity Enterprises, a not-for-profit organization for people with disabilities.

"We pick up the waste material from the fabricator they are happy to give it to us because they save on the disposal fees," said Rizzo. "We take the scrap materials we run it through a variety of proprietary machinery different machines and create the different products with that each individual stone has a different value. Some of our stones sell for anywhere from $7 up to $150 and it depends what the stone is created."

As Rizzo's business grew, she needed more space and workers. That's when she reached out to Opportunity Enterprises.

"They provide the talented workers which we considered recycle granite artisans because they are truly skilled people. They can identify stone better than anyone else they provide 100-percent of my manufacturing," Rizzo said. "We have 7 of them right now who are trained and we are bring more on every day."

Recycled granite can be used for many things, including the items that are sold at Opportunity Enterprises.

"We're selling the wine stoppers, the jewelry that they make. You can also make pretty neat paper weights. As Julie said before these are millions of years old and it's a shame to see it go to landfill," said staff member David Collins.

So far, Rizzo says the endeavor has proven to be a success.

"It's going to grow by leaps and bounds next year. We are going to have about 100 workers here doing tons of things and there will be five other organizations throughout the country doing the exact same things," said Rizzo.

Julie said her motto is to create jobs to reduce waste and make the world a better place.

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