The Downstream Casino Resort has partnered with the non-profit Joplin Workshops in their "Hand to Hand" soap recycling program since 2010. What started as a local effort has gained momentum and has been receiving national attention lately from stories featured in the Washington Post as well as the Buffalo News (New York).
Officials from Downstream resort have been actively encouraging more hotels to join their recycling efforts in an attempt to be more environmentally conscientious.
Recently, the Hilton Garden Inn of Joplin and the Phillips Hotel in Kansas City have joined the program. They along with the Downstream Hotel are sending their leftover bar soap, shampoo and conditioner to Joplin Workshops, where it is recycled and repackaged into soap kits for distribution to homeless shelters, halfway houses and other community based charitable organizations. The program also helps to maintain the Workshop's payroll. Sean Harrison of Downstream Casino Resort stated "We are highly grateful to Hilton Garden Inn and the Phillips Hotel for joining. We need more hotels to join."
Quapaw Tribal Chairman John Berrey noted "We believe that this is a great project. We remove usable products from the waste stream, we create work for disadvantaged members of our local community and we provide personal health care items for the most needy."