Focus on jobs as well as recycling

Last updated 10:03 22/08/2013

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In San Diego, California, a non-profit recycler called Aware is operating a profitable recycling business for the greater good.

That means raising funds for charities, helping businesses to recycle responsibly, and providing jobs to help combat homelessness, all the while reducing waste to landfill.

Vince and Nancy Larson, along with Chad McKinney, once dreamed of creating a recycling company that would use a triple-bottom-line business approach to challenge all forms of poverty and help build strong communities. That dream became Aware recycling.

Aware is licensed to recycle, set up recycling centres, and help businesses achieve compliance with California's recycling laws. In October 2010, they opened San Diego's first downtown recycling centre, creating more than 10 jobs instantly and assisting 15 people off the streets and into local jobs and supportive programmes. In their first year they diverted more than 500 tonnes of recycling from going to landfills.

The team also assist businesses to assess their waste and set-up recycling systems, and then pay them top-dollar for their recyclable goods, channelling the proceeds directly back into the local community to help address all forms of poverty and build a sustainable community.

In addition to all that, Aware also supports local and global charities through recycling and provides plenty of opportunities for volunteers, or for people wanting to fulfil community service commitments.

To learn more about Aware, visit

For more waste information, contact your local council or environment centre. To join Wastebusters, email

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- The Southland Times


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