Through its social enterprises United We Can has created hundreds
of employment opportunities for the less fortunate and disadvantaged.

Recycling Centre

United We Can offers recycling services to local businesses using non-motorized foot and bicycle carts known as Urban Binning Units (UBU). Employees from United We Can use the UBU carts to collect returnable containers from local businesses, apartment complexes and special events and then return them to United We Can to be recycled. This is how we create hundreds of recycling jobs.

Daily processing of 50,000+ beverage containers year round supports a population of 600 to 700 recycling collectors in Vancouver’s inner city community. Through its social enterprises United We Can has created hundreds of employment opportunities for the less fortunate and disadvantaged. The organization employs roughly 120 people in a mix of part-time and full-time jobs and refunds more than $2 million to its 600-700 daily customers.

Commercial Collection

If you think you have enough volume to schedule a pick up, contact Richard Henry today 604-908-4404.

With the use of a truck we are able to offer container collection directly from larger volume commercial and residential consumers in the Vancouver area. We are proud to be able to provide this pick-up service to apartments, schools, offices, hotels, restaurants, and bars with a refund on the container deposits – though many customers donate 100% of their refund to United We Can.

Recycling all returnable containers is one of the easiest ways for your organization or event to demonstrate its environmental commitment.

United We Can makes it easy with cost-effective collection services tailored to your needs – by truck or by non-motorized cart, on a scheduled or on-call basis.

Plus, we build your community impact by creating recycling jobs in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

Hire United We Can as your chosen method for recycling. It’s community that works.

Lane Cleaning

Do you want your lanes cleaned?
Don't wait, contact Rick Ivanauskis today 604-313-8599.

Lane clearing, also known as needle sweeping, is an additional service provided by United We Can which employs individuals exclusively from the Downtown Eastside who have multiple barriers in attaining traditional employment.

The Lane Clearing program works with the City of Vancouver, various Business Improvement Associations and movie production companies to provide street and lane-way micro-cleaning. Teams of workers are dispatched daily to walk the streets and lane-ways in the identified neighborhoods to collect garbage, syringes and other refuse.

Daily micro-cleaning service is currently provided to over 70 city blocks in targetted areas such as Strathcona, Downtown Eastside, Chinatown and Gastown. The health and safety of these communities are improved through the removal of roughly 380 bags of garbage weekly. This results in a reduction of rodent and fire hazards on local sidewalks, alleyways and hundreds of local green spaces. Public safety is improved through the collection of over 80,000 syringes per year from alleyways. The program also reports any illegal dumping activities and the presence of fluorescent vests on employees discourages local criminal activity in the community.

All of the 60+ people employed in the program have lived or continue to live in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver and are largely DB2 disability identified. Through the 8000+ worker shifts per year, employees of this program have their income supplemented and benefit from regular employment, working on a team and and an increased sense of self-worth from participating in meaningful work. Residents of the Downtown Eastside neighborhood or homeless individuals receive work training and income to stabilize life conditions as a bridge to other forms of employment.

There is a long waiting list of potential employees and a significant demand in the community for the service to continue. The local Business Improvement Associations contribute to program revenues which signals the importance for local businesses that the program continues.

United We Can continues this program utilizing grant and company contribution revenues to cover the costs of wages and for the lane cleaning operation and supplies. The program does not contribute to United We Can’s overhead costs.