Category: 2013, Climate, Community Grant, Completed, Grant


Grassroots NW

Project Steward

Leroy McKinnon



‘Calgary Can’ is an idea. The idea is to create economic opportunities through activities that have positive environmental impacts. We envision an association of informal recyclers – often called bottle pickers or binners – united to meet their common needs through a jointly owned and democratically controlled social enterprise. This enterprise, of collecting and selling refundable bottles and cans, will serve to meet the economic and social needs of the people participating in it. It will also contribute to the urban environmental health of Calgary through materials collection, recycling, and waste management.

This cooperative enterprise will build a collective identity and stature amongst members of the informal recycling community, increase the amount of recyclable materials being recovered to reduce landfill space and provide affordable community-led recycling options to small businesses and multi-family residences not serviced by the Blue Cart program.

This project is the first phase in exploring the opportunities for Calgary Can Grassroots Recycling Enterprise. Our goal is to determine the feasibility of ‘Calgary Can’ as an inclusive and economically viable urban environmental enterprise that addresses poverty and social exclusion.