Morford’s Takes Appliances, Flooring To Apartments, Leaves Packing At KAB

Close to two years ago, during their Aug. 16, 2022, meeting, the Alliance City Council green-lighted the Alliance Heartland Flats Mall and Apartments Project. The four-story apartment/exended stay hotel has since taken shape just south of the junction of Highways 385 and 2 on the west side of Alliance. Now nearly finished, I had wondered if the development would offer onsite recycling for residents. How environmentally friendly the construction process had been did not cross my mind until a white, enclosed trailer with 69 county plates pulled up to the Keep Alliance Beautiful Recycling Center for the first time.

Two men from Morford’s in Chadron opened the back and helped carry in sorted piles of cardboard and styrofoam that had encased a range of appliances. I spoke to the older of the two briefly as he signed our volunteer log – something we ask of people who travel here from out of county to count their time. He explained that the business had the appliance and flooring bid and that they’d be back. Good to his word, we repeated the process several times.

Contractors backing into our bay to unload trucks full of cardboard are not uncommon. However, this instance was further evidence of growing connections within the northern Panhandle when businesses hope to avoid the landfill.

Morford’s Decorating Center sits atop the hill on Sixth Street in Chadron, easily visible driving toward Highway 20. What the company’s trailer brought to us that first load originated from another part of the family business: Home Haven Furniture and Appliance. During a phone interview, John Morford explained that is dad founded the company 45 years ago. Staring as a small mom and pop the enterprise grew, moving four times and eventually splitting the flooring emphasis 50/50 between business and residential.

“We do go through a ton of cardboard,” he said. “A lot of LVT (luxury vinyl tile) packing is cardboard. We’ve had a cardboard chainlink bin from Keep Chadron Beautiful the last 10 years.” He added that cardboard is the only recycling opportunity they have in Chadron though carpet pads are made with recycled material.

Talking with John jogged my memory. While helping at one of Chadron’s monthly recycling events there had been a trailer full of styrofoam. Though it did not matter where it came from at the time (it was Morford’s), I had mentioned we did take pieces of that size and they could stop at the recycling center if it made more sense.

Morford’s part of the Alliance project has spanned four months and “they are still trying to finish up a few things.” They brought down enough LVT and carpet at a time for 10-12 apartments and up to 50 pieces in a couple delivery vans on big days for appliances.

John is interested in recycling whenever possible. “I guess I feel there is some importance to the pad and mattress push,” he said, noting he would recycle the sizable bedroom furniture if he could locally. “Ever since I was in college there’s been a push to avoid putting things in the landfills. If we can do that, why not?”

Flooring and decorating has become greener since the start of John’s career. “Oh yeah, big time.” He said,”We sell Benjamin Moore – their big push (is how environmentally friendly it is).” All PET carpet is made with recycled pop bottles. “The sustainability model from carpet manufacturers is big.”

As a business owner he said, “. . . its nice to have this opportunity to do some recycling.”