Our Impact

About 45% of people

Released from incarceration re-enter the justice system within a year. (1) One of the biggest factors in why people re-enter is the struggle to gain employment. (2) In addition, multiple studies have shown that the impacts of waste accumulation and climate change disproportionately land on communities of color. Second Chance Recycling works to combat these disparities by focusing on an employment opportunity that combines environmental and racial equity.

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We accomplish this, first, by providing over 100 transitional employment opportunities annually to people with barriers to employment, primarily those returning from incarceration. Trainee jobs provide a rapid pathway to employment when it is needed most, future employability skills, and a supportive environment of people who understand. 

Entry-level Trainee jobs are typically 3-12 months and include training to transition to long-term employment and supportive services to stabilize personal lives, lowering the likelihood that people will return to incarceration and renewing our community as a whole. 

Here’s some stats on our societal impact over the last two years:

of participants

who chose to pursue training during their employment at Second Chance completed the training.

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Most popular training is forklift training, resulting in certification.

While working at Second Chance, nearly 40% of all participants gained new skills by attending workshops, training, or other services.


As we work toward societal change, we also serve the environment. In 2019, the waste prevented from entering landfills was equivalent to recycling all the non-recyclable trash created by 2,500 Twin Cities’ families for a full year; enough waste to fill Target stadium 3 ¼ times.

Here’s more stats on our environmental impact:

Since our inception, we’ve recycled nearly 500000 mattresses
end-to-end that would be over 650 miles!
20 million pounds
of recyclable material has been diverted from landfills — equal to 800 city buses.