Goodwill Industries, Ontario Great Lakes (London), is in the process of opening a new $3.6 million, 113,000-square-foot Centre for Social Enterprise and the Environment that will offer job training, provide new jobs and help reduce the amount of donations that go to landfills. The goal is to achieve ‘zero waste’ by lowering the current rate of 17 percent to less than 10 percent.
Collaborating with Fanshawe College, Ontario Waste Management Association, and several municipalities and corporate recyclers, a new Environmental Service Worker Certification program will be launched in the new center this spring. A combination of in-class and hands-on training will target individuals seeking to enter the recycling field giving both job seekers and employers an advantage in this competitive and emerging industry. The goal is to graduate the first cohort this year and eventually transfer the program to other Goodwills, and within the public college and private vocational training systems.
The site will also feature a Donation Center which will specialize in hosting collection drives for targeted items such as electronics.
“We have an opportunity to do ethically responsible work, to keep goods out of a landfill,” said London Goodwill CEO Michelle Quintyn. “Graduates will be able to work in any recycling operation, to work in the back end of any major institution, ranging from industrial to corporate office settings, and divert waste from landfills.”