Policy shifts may leave some developmentally disabled workers on the sidelines.
Venture Training clients assist with sorting recycling but the Regional District of North Okanagan has been notified by the Ministry of Environment that producers of packaging and paper will become responsible for recycling in 2014.
“It’s unknown what will happen to our (material recovery) facility after the stewardship program and Venture’s part of that is unknown,” said Nicole Kohnert, RDNO’s engineering services manager.
About 45 Venture Training clients handle recycling from Spallumcheen, Enderby and Westside Road.
“Venture has been in the community a long time and it does an excellent job,” said Mike Macnabb, a regional district director.
Director Patrick Nicol isn’t convinced a change in service is needed.
“The community loves their participation,” he said of Venture Training.
The RDNO board wants to meet with Venture Training and it may express its concerns to the Ministry of the Environment.
Many of Venture’s clients have been involved in supported work programs for years.
The jobs not only provide the participants with skills but also a sense that they are contributing to the community.
Ed Columbus, Venture Training operations director, is hopeful the clients can remain involved in processing recycling in 2014.
“We will do our best to adjust to any new program. There may be new opportunities,” he said.
“We want to be part of the discussions so we can see if we can be involved.”