Balancing Social vs. Economic Benefit

We all know the value of recycling.  It’s good for the environment because it keeps waste out of landfills and also decreases our use of natural resources like petroleum and ores used in metals.  However, no matter how much ecological good recycling does, the economics of the business is extremely challenging.  Although from May 2015, this CNBC interview with  Waste Management CEO David Steiner still holds true.

Recycling is a commodity-based business, which means the value of materials that are baled in our recycling center (aluminum, cardboard, plastic) fluctuates based on the demand.  Currently, the market for materials is very low.  This results in less revenue for our recycling program, even though our costs to process remain the same.

Thankfully, JobOne Community Recycling has a dual mission to recycle AND to provide jobs.  We receive financial support for the program from Eitas (Developmental Disability Services of Jackson County, as well as drawing State Aid to support the workers in the plant.  Additional revenue to support the program through grants, fundraisers and new recycling business concepts will add value and allow us to diversify our revenue streams.

I hope that JobOne Community Recycling remains in the business for many years to come.   I’m very hopeful that through hard work and creativity, recycling can become as much of a financial asset to the organization as it is for the local community and our environment.