, Port Arthur, Texas

November 13, 2012

Port Arthur resident paves way for greener city

Brooke Crum
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — For Ruenette “Maggie” Bolden, recycling was a practical, cost-effective solution to an expensive problem.

While she was a manager at the Courthouse Cafe, Bolden could not help but notice how quickly the cash register ink would fade away throughout the day. She would put in a new ink cartridge every morning, and before the end of the day, the ink would have disappeared, imprinted on the faces of receipts.

“There just has to be a better way,” she thought at the time.

Bolden had an itch after that, and she was more than ready to scratch it. She bought an armload of books on business and spent several weeks reading those books, but nothing popped out at her, she said.

The next time she went to the bookstore she bought some magazines. She saw an advertisement for a company that refilled the ink in printer cartridges, and it was almost as if a light bulb blinked over her head. She called the number the next day — a Sunday, after church — and to her amazement, a man answered the phone.

The man had designed a machine that would refill ink cartridges, so Bolden and her husband bought one and started a business, refilling ink cartridges. That was 1989, and that business, Encore, survives still today.

“I believe in being a good steward of God’s earth,” Bolden said. She turned 55 Wednesday.

Bolden focuses her energy on recycling more than just ink cartridges these days. She started a recycling organization, Texas Recyclers Association Inc., in 1994, and it became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2004. Her daughter, Chloe Bolden, is the organization’s spokeswoman.

The Texas Recyclers Association plans to hold an America Recycles Day event at 2 p.m. Thursday on the fifth floor of City Hall to inform the public about recycling. People can bring their old cellphones, iPods, iPads, MP3 players, laptops, GPS and printer cartridges to recycle Thursday. Or they can use the recycle bins located in City Hall and at 3248 49th Street, where the Port Arthur Beautification Commission lives. Bolden is also the chairwoman of recycling for the commission.

Those who attend the America Recycles Day would receive gift bags and information on where and what they can recycle, Bolden said. Refreshments will be served, as well, and a couple of vendors will be on hand to offer their recycled, sustainable products, such as clothes, jewelry and artwork. Motiva Enterprises, Entergy and Manning’s Office Solutions have helped sponsor Texas Recyclers Association in addition to the city of Port Arthur.

The Texas Recyclers Association’s goal is to make recycling a lifestyle, Bolden said. And the America Recycles Day event was a way to educate the people of Port Arthur about how, where and what they can recycle.

But the association is not all about recycling. Bolden said the group was working toward planting a few community gardens throughout the West Side in some of the vacant lots that have been sitting there idly. But that would have to wait until after America Recycles Day.

The Texas Recyclers Association is always looking for volunteers to assist with their activities. For more information on how you can help, call Bolden at 728-5465.