June 15, 2020 // Local

Member builds can crusher for Knights of Columbus service project

FORT WAYNE — In 2016, Knights of Columbus Council 451 built a small storage shed for the purpose of collecting aluminum cans as a means of generating funds for charity. The shed is located on the grounds of St. Charles Borromeo Church in Fort Wayne. 

On the grounds of St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Fort Wayne, aluminum cans collected by Knights of Columbus Council 451 members and crushed and sold to raise money for charity. Council members Dennis Redding and John Prascsak transport some of the crushed cans. — Photos provided by Justin Purdy/Dennis Redding

After four years in operation, the council has received 10,600 pounds in scrap aluminum. That converts to over 350,000 cans, or $1,100 annually in revenue. All money earned is donated to Gibault Children’s Services, the No. 1 Knights of Columbus-supported charitable organization in Indiana.    

Collecting, storing and transporting such a mountain of cans is quite a challenge. To make the task more manageable, the cans are crushed. Until recently, this task was performed manually requiring many tedious hours. 

One of Council 451’s engineer-minded Knights decided it was time to make this a more efficient operation. After some YouTube research and ingenuity, he designed and built a high-volume machine limited only by the operator’s speed in feeding cans down a chute designed with safety in mind.

Thanks to this invention and the dedication of its members, Council 451 will continue the Knights’ tradition of charitable giving.

Council member John Prascsak inserts cans into the can-crushing machine.

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