The Edmonton Recycling Society: Cutting-Edge Business With A Social Mission
The Edmonton Recycling Society shows how economic activities can be environmentally sound, provide meaningful employment to people with disabilities, earn a competitive rate of return, and be seen to be one of the top innovators in the Canadian recycling industry. But ERS turns on a complex relationship with the municipality, a factor that brings its replication (as well as its own future) into question. One might call such questioning prescient; within a relatively short time span, ERS went out of business, the victim of a new mayor and council who placed no value on the multiple bottom lines ERS achieved; the result : a US multi-national took over the contract based on a single factor, price. Here is an excellent example of how important municipal policy can be, for good or for ill.