NORMAN — The J.D. McCarty Center for children with developmental disabilities has received a donation that benefits the playgrounds at the center and promotes the use of recycled materials.
Hitachi Computer Products (America) Inc. and Riverside Ranch, a local wood recycling company, donated 40 yards of wood mulch in December to the center to use as ground cover for the playgrounds and for landscaping.
The McCarty Center in Norman is a pediatric rehab hospital that specializes in the care and treatment of children with developmental disabilities.
The mulch donation is a way to give back to the center and the community and to further Hitachi’s recycling initiatives, said Cathy Canty, Hitachi’s on-site consulting environmental manager.
Gary Sullens, facilities supervisor of the Hitachi plant, said the wood used in the mulch is from wood pallets that come in with products shipped to the Norman plant. The pallets are then reused or sent to Riverside Ranch, which recycles wood waste that is bound for a landfill into products such as mulch for landscaping and playground surfaces.
Allen Ahlert, director of manufacturing engineering with Hitachi Computer Products, said the corporate office encourages each division to be eco-conscious.
“Our local management supports that strongly and has dedicated the time and budget to promoting environmental causes,” Ahlert said.
Canty said the McCarty Center is the first recipient of donated wood mulch from Hitachi’s Norman plant. She visited the center two years ago and was impressed with the center’s staff and operations.
Gary Curry, maintenance supervisor at the McCarty Center, said the center is grateful for the mulch and for the generosity shown by Hitachi and Riverside Ranch.
“The donation saved us hundreds of dollars that we would end up having to spend to get this mulch brought to us to help our landscaping,” Curry said.
The mulch was placed in the center’s playgrounds and around newly planted and existing trees. Curry said the mulch will also come in handy for landscaping needs at Camp ClapHans, a new residential summer camp for kids with disabilities that is located on the McCarty Center’s campus. The camp opens in June.