Friday, March 9, 2012

Sometimes I'm just so proud of my city...

Edmonton, Alberta, is an interesting city. We're known globally for two things: West Edmonton Mall, which was once the world's largest shopping centre, and the Edmonton Oilers (well, we'd be known globally for that if everyone in the world was a hockey fan in the 80s. I suspect if you mentioned our city in Madagascar today, you'd get a lot of blank looks).

Since the late 80s, Edmonton has also become a world leader in something that a lot of people aren't aware of -- Waste Management. When it was discovered that our landfill was reaching capacity too quickly back in those days, the City decided to start a residential recycling program that has developed and grown into a waste management Centre of Excellence. It is now being studied by people from all over the planet who are realizing that if we're going to survive as a species, our garbage needs to be properly handled: reduced, reused, recycled, recovered, composted, and all that other good earth-friendly stuff we can do with it.

What I was less aware of was that the City has carried this idea even further by hiring people that aren't generally considered to have the potential to be good employees. I knew that people with intellectual disabilities have been involved in recycling programs from the beginning, but I didn't know about all the other "second chances" that Quality One, the staffing department, has been creating... putting into practice one of my favourite sayings, attributed to Audrey Hepburn: "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone."

Sometimes, the people of my city just make me so proud. Watch this ten minute video about Quality One, and you'll see what I mean.

1 comment:

  1. I want to work there! I've always wanted to:) because I think the work itself would be very satisfying but now I want to work there for the people. This was awesome, thanks for sharing!

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