Our Founders

 

Bob Cordoni

Bob Cordoni RMRS Founding Member
Bob Cordoni

Bob Cordoni attended an Earth Day conference in Victoria in 1970, and was struck by the simplicity and common sense of their pilot recycling program. “In those days, everyone in environmental groups were serious about making the world a better place to live,” says Bob. “Recycling seemed like a natural avenue to pursue.” He enthusiastically proposed that the local SPEC group undertake a recycling project. The rest, as they say, is history. “Recycling has worked out well. The program today is absolutely wonderful and the educational aspect is where the Recycling Society really shines.”

 

Bill Archibald

Bill Archibald RMRS Founding Member
Bill Archibald

Bill Archibald is a teacher with a social conscience, Bill Archibald was concerned about the environment. He helped form the local SPEC group to undertake a major clean-up of the Alouette River and was actively involved in the launch of the first recycling project. “Everything was done by volunteers,” he says, reflecting on hand-loading a 22-tonne trailer with bundled newspaper. “We did everything by hand and by donations. The twine to tie the newspaper bundles was donated by local farmers; volunteers crushed cans, bundled newspaper and repaired buildings. They were a great group of people to be involved with.”

 

Beryl Cunningham

Beryl Cunningham RMRS Founding Member
Beryl Cunningham

Beryl Cunningham is a lifelong environmentalist, Beryl Cunningham was an early member of SPEC. “I was one of those way-out people,” she says, “an environmentalist and a recycler. I got involved with all SPEC’s projects and I’ve been at it ever since, advocating left, right and centre for recycling.” One of the first board members of Ridge Meadows Recycling Society, she has volunteered with the organization for nearly three decades. “There has been absolutely huge progress. We could not ever have imagined what recycling has become. We’ve made huge strides forward.”

 

Candace Gordon

Candace Gordon RMRS Board Member 2011 - 2012
Candace Gordon

Candace Gordon started working for SPEC as a truck driver in 1979. From driver, to fundraiser to depot manager, Candace’s work with the group grew. She wrote the constitution that incorporated the Ridge Meadows Recycling Society as a separate entity from SPEC in 1981. The recycling society applied for grants and provided work experience for people with developmental disabilities. This led to a more organized effort to work with people with disabilities and our current Supported Work program. Says Candace, “I just think, ‘Wow, what a phenomenal success story.’ RMRS takes a business approach, yet has always maintained a focused commitment to the environment. This has enabled us to weather the low points in the market. One of our strongest points is the way we engage the community. People feel they’re part of the solution.”

 

Julie Koehn

Julie Koehn RMRS Founding Member
Julie Koehn

Julie Koehn served the recycling effort in Maple Ridge continuously for almost 40 years until her daughter, Leanne, was hired in the education/outreach department at RMRS. Says Julie, “I remember when Bob Cordoni came back from the Earth Day conference with the idea of starting a local recycling depot. He inspired us. I went to Belkin Paperboard, with my baby in tow, to establish our first paper market.” An old shed on the Koehn property in Hammond was the first paper recycling depot. It was eventually replaced by a donated building sited at the Cottonwood landfill. The group had proposed the municipality fund their efforts, a proposal that was considered grandiose at the time. Says Julie, “Today, we are partners with the municipality. I think it’s wonderful. We’ve built amazing credibility and support.”

 

Dave Koehn

Dave Koehn RMRS Founding Member
Dave Koehn

Dave Koehn was an early member of the local SPEC group and became the first president of the Ridge Meadows Recycling Society. Together with a group of dedicated volunteers, Dave helped find creative and innovative ways to improve recycling.” Dave was the volunteer depot manager at the Cottonwood site and started the first curbside collection. “We had an old cube van that barely ran. We received a grant and I hired our first truck drivers. I look around now and we have a fleet of trucks. I think ‘Wow! Right on!'” Dave has tremendous pride in the current recycling programs. “The faith we had in our ideas has come to fruition. Recycling is now looked at as a business. We’ve proven that it can work.”