Oneida Indian Nation joins forces with group to promote sanitation in Third World countries

By WKTV News

(WKTV) - The Oneida Indian Nation is taking recycling to another level with a partnership with the nonprofit organization Clean the World.

Turning Stone and the Nation's three properties in Verona use about 1 million little bottles of shampoo and 300,000 little bars of soap a year.

In the past, the unused portions have been thrown away. But starting this month, the leftovers are being given to Clean the World, which takes the items in from hotels nationwide, sanitizes them, repackages them and distributes the toiletries around the world to nations where sanitary conditions are not the best.

"The countries that are in need, the soap gets shipped out to them," said Roxanne Lucent, director of hotel operations at Turning Stone. "It cuts down about 50 percent on illnesses, especially in children, and has cut down dramatically the mortality rate they experience currently."

Ray Halbritter, the Oneida Indian Nation chief executive officer, says the initiative is part of the Nation's cultural philosophy.

"The environmental concerns and trying to take care of the world and clean the world is something that's part of, in a sense, our cultural mission and always has been," he said. "And so it's something that fits right in with what we think as a philosophy as a people."

Clean the World picked up its first 2,200 pound shipment from the Turning Stone in early February.

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