I recently received the summary of a research paper by Reegan Lawrence, a University of Manitoba student. The paper is titled The Green Economy: Manitoba’s Waste and Recycling Sector.
I found this quite interesting. People and businesses are recognizing that things need to change to reduce damage to the environment. On the other hand, many believe that being good to the environment is bad for the economy.
The study looked at municipalities, government agencies, not-for-profit organizations like the Flin Flon and District Environment Council, Inc. which runs the local recycling program and the private businesses. The private businesses included e-waste processing, consulting, education and awareness, producer responsible organizations which provide financing to encourage recycling, tire recyclers, manufacturers, composters, construction and demolition, scrap metal dealers, haulers/transporters, multi-service facilities, Materials recovery facilities like the Flin Flon Recycling Centre, and reuse/refurbish operations.
That is quite a list.
The study used results of a survey and information from a variety of sources to calculate the economic impact of handling waste differently. It estimates there is an equivalent of 4,443 full time employees contributing an estimated $184,537,783.50 to the Manitoba economy.
Locally the Recycling Centre employs five full time and one part time person. There are four more positions at the landfill. Our wages are not as high as the ones used in the study, but our payroll in 2016 was just over $250,000.00.
The increase in businesses and organizations doing things like recycling shows a new way of thinking called corporate social responsibility. It means they consider the environment and the larger community as well as making money when making decisions.
This study shows that the new way of thinking is good for the economy.