What do a place called Free Geek, the Vancouver Sun’s editorial team, the North Shore’s recycling program, a group of East Vancouver elementary school students dealing with dyslexia, a career civil servant from the Okanagan and London Drugs all have in common? They are being recognized by the Recycling Council of B.C. (RCBC) for their leadership in environmental stewardship over the past year.
On Thursday, June 26 at its 34th annual zero waste conference, RCBC will present its annual environmental achievement awards in seven categories: non-profit, private sector, public sector, education, youth, journalism and individual achievement.
In fact, this year, one organization has achieved the unprecedented and garnered awards in two categories.
This year’s award winners are:
Free Geek Vancouver
Provides refurbished computers to those in our community who would not otherwise have access, due to economic circumstances
Pioneers in pushing for open and transparent e-waste tracking
Recently certified as the first ethical recycler of e-waste in Canada under the BAN protocol
Operates a completely transparent partnership system with end-of-life recyclers
Has reduced waste by 40 per cent across its chain of 68 stores in Western Canada
Patented process to remove metals from photofinishing effluent and recycle canisters, film shells and paper rolls.
Offers take-back of all packaging associated with goods sold at and transported to stores
Offers customers collection and recycling of hard to handle items such as Styrofoam
Public Sector and Education
The North Shore Recycling program is the recipient of two awards this year.
Has one of the most successful municipal recycling programs in the Lower Mainland and is a model for other communities to emulate.
The program covers all three North Shore municipalities and may be the one thing they have ever all agreed on.
In 2007 this program diverted:
16,632 tonnes of recyclables
9,298 tonnes of yard trimmings
Outreach programs reached 4,099 people
Monthly gardening tips newsletter goes to more than 1600 residents
Collects revenue from the sale of recycled materials and in 2007 alone earned $1.1 million
THRIVE Program Nootka Elementary School
Program’s grade 4 through 7 students are dealing with dyslexia and other learning disabilities
The kids created a research and production team and produced a short film about garbage in Metro Vancouver
Visited all major waste management facilities in lower mainland and shot interviews with elected officials and engineers
Film is a very prescient overview of the waste issues and challenges faced by Metro Vancouver, and encourages the public to become active in the solution
Patricia Graham and Vancouver Sun Editorial Team
The Sun has taken a leadership role in integrating environmental issues into everyday reporting and writing. In this newsroom the environment is no longer a fringe issue.
Coverage far exceeds that of their peers and spans daily bites to news items to features to special reports
The paper has taken its readership on a journey of discovery and learning, from David Suzuki’s day in the editor’s chair to Denise Ryan’s personal project to live within a smaller footprint, from Francis Bula’s investigation of what other cities are doing, to Miro Cernetig’s musings on the machinations behind the policy-making.
Don Hamilton, Waste Reduction Manager, Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen
Started the second local recycling program in B.C. in 1980 and for 28 years has worked to increase waste diversion in RDOS
Helped develop RDOS Air Quality program to curtail outdoor wood waste burning
Developed first free Household Hazardous Waste depot in B.C.’s Interior
Developing specialized DLC waste landfill at Okanagan Falls the first of its kind in B.C.
All of these award recipients, in one way or another have integrated concern and care for the environment into their daily way of life and business. RCBC celebrates and congratulates them all for their outstanding achievement.