Eastman Recycling Services (ERS) will be shutting down its services over the next year.

That announcement was made Wednesday morning by enVision. In 1992, enVision Community Living created Eastman Recycling Services, servicing southeastern Manitoba for 29 years.

"All along enVision's core purpose at ERS was to create meaningful work for people who live with an intellectual disability, and we have done that for many years," says enVision Executive Director Jeannette DeLong. "ERS provided work for over 60 individuals in that time. Today there are 9 individuals who live with an intellectual disability, working at ERS."

DeLong says in recent years they have seen the recycling industry move into a highly automated model while their business continues to operate with hands-on labour. She notes keeping up with the industry, along with increasing operational and capital costs, and managing increased liabilities, is pulling them away from their original purpose.

She adds the Board of Directors and leadership at enVision Community Living have given this a great deal of thought and realize that it needs to remain committed to creating meaningful opportunities for people in the community. She says that is no longer possible at ERS as the pressure to accelerate automation increases and manual job opportunities decrease.

"While it's been a tough decision, we know it's the right decision for our organization,", adds DeLong. "We are very proud of what we have achieved at ERS over the years, together with staff and the people we support. We look forward to conversations about how recycling will continue in the region, and the possibility of the sale of ERS."