News & Information > News Releases


CONTACT: Melanie Mowry Etters
Communication Director

Recycling for a Better Tomorrow

By Janeil Jackson

A nice day out in the sun working with his hands is just fine with 42-year-old Michael Reed. He has been working as a Florida Power & Light (FPL) Recycling Crew Member in Palm Beach for the past 18 years.

As an FPL Recycling Crew Member, Reed and his co-workers travel around the city collecting and recycling old utility meters.

“Pretty much I collect the meters and put them in boxes so they can be recycled,” said Reed.

Through various jobs Reed has accumulated many job skills. Before moving to Florida 18 years ago, Reed and his mother lived in Connecticut where he worked in construction.

“I used to do construction. It was cool, but I don’t do that kind of work anymore,” said Reed.

In his role at FPL Reed has made efforts to take on new tasks and even helps provide training to newcomers.

“Michael has gone out of his comfort zone to learn other skills at FPL so he can do more things independently and to help his co-workers learn new skills,” said job coach Vickie Ward. “He goes out his way to help new coworkers learn more skills.”

Reed enjoys his job for many reasons, but being able to help his mother, who is ill, is the most important one.

“I like my job, and I buy things for myself,” said Reed. “But I really like being able to help my mom pay the bills.”

Reed also likes being able to build relationships and has really benefited from making new friends at work.

When Reed isn’t working, he likes to spend his free time playing softball with his Special Olympics team, going to the mall and theme parks, watching TV and movies, and playing video games.