Even though the province of Alberta has a beverage container recycling program to divert aluminum cans, glass bottles, PET bottles, and other plastic containers from landfills, the Vecova Centre for Disability Services and Research, a Calgary-based charity supporting the needs of people with disability, noticed that over 400 million beverage containers sold in Alberta are not returned for refund.
In dollar figures, that represents up to $100 million in unclaimed deposits.
Vecova, recognizing that only half of people with disability are employed compared to 75 percent of people without disability, created a container pick-up social enterprise last year employing people with disability, thereby creating an inclusive community and meaningful opportunities for those it serves, and helping the city recycle more.
Last year, the social enterprise collected more than 327,000 containers and created jobs for three people. For every 2,100 Calgarians signing up for the free door-to-door pick-up service, Vecova can employ five people.
The charity currently operates four social enterprises that create jobs for people with disability. Besides the container pick-up service, it operates a recycling depot and baggage cart retrieval service at the Calgary International Airport.
On June 5th, World Environment Day, Vecova is hosting a celebration for their new social enterprise featuring speeches by employees and recycling displays.
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