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Feature Social Enterprise – Mother Earth Recycling

Mother Earth Recycling (MER) is a Winnipeg-based Aboriginal Social Enterprise.

Their mission is to provide meaningful training and employment opportunities to the Aboriginal community through environmentally sustainable initiatives.

MER began in 2012 as a partnership between Neeginan Centre, the Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development, and the Aboriginal Council of Winnipeg, as a place for community members to find training and job opportunities, while providing a much-needed service to the City.

As a trusted partner to government agencies, non-profits, and private corporations, MER offers mattress, box springs, and e-waste pickup and drop off from residential homes, businesses, and industries across Manitoba.

While their mattress recycling program is newly launched, the electronic waste recycling facility has met (or exceeded) EPRA regulations and guidelines since initial operations began in 2012.

Part of the early success of MER is due to its innovative collaboration and partnerships. Their owners and all three levels of government have invested resources in the development of MER. Public participation and support have also greatly contributed to years of success.

The act of recycling has cultural significance for Aboriginal communities. Embedded within traditional Aboriginal worldviews is the concept of collective responsibility to respect and maintain the natural environment, and use only what is needed for sustenance. While they work with modern technologies, MER’s commitment to environmental sustainability will allow their Aboriginal employees to reconnect with an integral part of their culture.