Come tour the Maple Ridge Recycling Depot, located at 10092 – 236th Street and find out what happens to your recycling once it’s picked up off the curb!
Summer Public Depot Tour Dates are now set!!
Come join us on Wednesday, July 10 at 12:00pm and 4:00pm or Saturday, July 13 at 12:00pm and 4:00pm for a 40-minute, “backstage” tour where you can ask all your tough recycling questions!
For more information & to register online, visit our Depot Tour webpage… Spaces are limited, so reserve yours now!
If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
In this newsletter…
- The Government of Canada announces upcoming single-use plastic bans…
- Our next Repair Cafe is part of the City of Maple Ridge’s inaugural Car Free Day event THIS Sunday, June 16.
- SUMMER DEPOT TOUR registration is now open!!
- The next “Green Drinks” enviro-get-together is on Wednesday, June 26
- Congrats to Port Coquitlam on the launch of their first Repair Cafe!
- Finally, check out all the amazing events & activities happening in our community – so much going on!!
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There will be NO CURBSIDE RECYCLING PICKUP on Monday, July 1 due to the Canada Day statutory holiday.
Regular Monday curbside recycling pickup will resume on Monday, July 8. If you have lots of recycling in the meantime, bring it down to the Maple Ridge Recycling Depot, located at 10092 – 236th Street, just south of River Road in the Albion Industrial Park. The Recycling Depot will be OPEN on Saturday, June 29 from 8am – 6pm and Sunday, June 30 & Monday, July 1 from 9am – 5pm.
Happy Canada Day from Ridge Meadows Recycling!
Bring your broken stuff – jewelry, sewing, bikes, appliances, ceramics, electronics – or just stop by to check out the repair action from 10pm – 2pm on Saturday, July 27 in Memorial Peace Park (next to 224th Street) as part of the Downtown Maple Ridge Business Improvement Association‘s Summer Market! Don’t forget to bring your kids to Tinkerbell Station where they can get hands on with tools and tinker & create to their hearts’ content!!!
Learn more about the Maple Ridge Repair Cafes.
Ridge Meadows Recycling Society is a Community-based, non-profit organization that would love to have you join our team!! We are currently looking for:
1 STUDENT Swamper/Process Worker/Supported Work Assistant – Full-time, start date July 2, MUST be returning to school in September, 2019.
1 Sorter/Swamper – night shift (3pm – 11:30pm), full time, permanent, no experience necessary!
Is this you or someone you know? More information on our Job Posting page…
Recently we have heard from concerned residents about news stories they are hearing about recycling going through a crisis – here are a couple of examples:
“Is Canada’s recycling industry broken?” (Global News, April 29, 2019)
“Reduce, reuse, recycle, rejected: Why Canada’s recycling industry is in crisis mode” (The Globe & Mail, May 15, 2019).
People had heard that after China closed their doors to overly-contaminated materials, there was nowhere for it to go, and their well-sorted recyclables were going straight into the garbage.
While this may unfortunately be true for other municipalities in North America, it is NOT the case in British Columbia, and definitely not the case in Maple Ridge.
British Columbia is a leader in the recycling industry. Our stewardship programs, regulated and reviewed by the provincial government, are designed to be 100% funded by the manufacturers and retailers of the products themselves. Almost all items we accept at the Maple Ridge Recycling Depotare part of these programs, also known as Extended Producer Responsibilityprograms, or EPR.
Recycle BC is the not-for-profit organization responsible for residential packaging and paper product recycling throughout British Columbia. They address the China ban and what happens to collected recycling on their website.
There are two big reasons why we are largely unaffected by the shifts shutting down recycling programs in other parts of the continent:
1. BC has a local plastic processing plant – Merlin Plastics, located on Annacis Island
2. Recycle BC supports multi-stream recycling, which results in a cleaner product, that is more valuable to processors and easier to market. They also require their collectors to keep contamination levels below 3%.
Global News (finally) addressed how we are different (and mainly unaffected by recent changes) in a subsequent portions of their coverage – “Canada’s recycling industry is on life support – here’s how to fix it.” and “B.C. better positioned to handle Chinese recycling ban.” CBC News also produced a video addressing “Why B.C. is better at recycling than the rest of Canada.”
While this industrial shift is a major setback to many recycling programs around the world, what will hopefully emerge is a better understanding of how the recycling industry works, the development of local markets and local jobs in the green sector, and more people taking responsibility for the waste they produce.
|Also in this newsletter…
We have once again opened our annual sales of Composters ($70), Solar Cone Food Digesters ($145), Bear-Resistant Bins ($100/non-MR residents $150), & Rain Barrels ($80). Residents can order any of these through the online form below, by visiting the Maple Ridge Recycling Depot at 10092 – 236th Street, or by calling RMRS’s office at 604-463-5545.
Since Metro Vancouver’s Organics Disposal Ban, people are paying more attention to what happens with their food scraps. If you have a garden, Composters will turn veggie & fruit scraps into rich, nutrient-filled topsoil. People may be less familiar with Solar Cones, which use the sun’s energy to break down food items that cannot go in the Composter, including bread, bones & meat, and milk products, into carbon dioxide and water, which harmlessly dissipate into the surrounding soil.
Bear-Resistant Bins, which look like regular rolling totes, have reinforced lids and a locking mechanism that frustrates bears and deters them from seeking food in residential areas. In addition to the bins helping residents comply to municipal bylaws and the BC Wildlife Act, Maple Ridge residents also benefit from a $50 subsidy provided by the City of Maple Ridge.
Intense summer draught a couple of years ago boosted the profile of Rain Barrels, which enabled residents to water their lawns and gardens throughout the summer using collected rainwater and helped lower municipal water demands. Rain water, free from chlorine and water treatment chemicals, is an excellent water source for lawns, plants and gardens.
Download the Full Page Hand Out for Composters, Solar Cones, Bear-Resistant Bins, and Rain Barrels.
On Saturday, February 9, Ridge Meadows Recycling Society is launching their second year of Repair Cafés at the Maple Ridge Library from 11am – 2pm with funding provided by Vancity’s enviroFund grant.
Repair Cafés are pop-up events where residents can bring their broken items (small appliances, jewelry, clothing, small toys or furniture, etc.) and there are tools, materials, and volunteer expert “fixers” available to help residents learn to repair their stuff!
“Last year’s Repair Cafés were a huge success,” says Leanne Koehn, Community Engagement for Ridge Meadows Recycling Society and Coordinator of the Repair Cafés, “We introduced the concept of Repair Cafés to our community, gathered a strong group of talented volunteer ‘fixers,’ and kept many, many items out of the landfill! We are now able to help people from other areas who want to start up their own Repair Cafés!”
In 2018, the group held 8 Repair Cafés in 6 different venues, partnering with the Maple Ridge Library, the Ridge Meadows Seniors’ Society, the Celebrate Earth Day festival, the Haney Farmers Market, and GETI Fest. The Cafés were initiated in large part with funding from the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors program, donations from Haney Builders, and media sponsorship from the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows NEWS.
The goals of Maple Ridge Repair Cafes are to:
- Bring back repair into local society in a modern way
- Maintain repair expertise and share and pass on valuable knowledge and skills that have been learned over lifetimes, building individual and community capacity
- Promote social cohesion in the local community by connecting neighbours
- Repair and reuse items that would’ve ended up in the landfill
- Encourage people to value and appreciate their possessions
So far, the community has brought 400 items to be fixed by Maple Ridge Repair Café’s 50 volunteers, including 39 lamps, 20 clocks, 17 pairs of pants, 8 bracelets, 5 toasters, 3 stools, and a ceramic chicken!
Know someone who has repair skills, wants to learn them, or just wants to help out? Send them to the online form at www.mrrepaircafe.ca or email email@example.com to volunteer as a “Fixer” or a “Helper” and become a Repair Café hero!
To learn more, visit www.mrrepaircafe.ca or visit the Maple Ridge Repair Café Page on Facebook, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Leanne at 604-463-5545.
While SOFT & HARD plastic can still go into your RED Recycling Box curbside, there is an in-between category that until now has had to go in the garbage.
NOT ANYMORE!! Save up your FLEXIBLE PLASTIC PACKAGING and bring it to the Recycling Depot! (Note: this new category is NOT accepted in your curbside recycling program)
Items included in this new category include:
Plastic Stand-Up Pouches & Bags, Zipper-Locked Plastic Pouches & Bags, Crinkly Plastic Bags & Wrappers, Cellophane, Net & Woven Plastic Bags, Plastic Wrappers (non-stretchy), and non-food protective plastic packaging. See photo above for examples!
NOT included in this program are paper-lined plastic or plastic-lined paper, plastic squeeze tubes, plastic strapping, or PVC/Vinyl.
The Recycle BC website has more information about this new program.
Ridge Meadows Recycling Society’s Position Statement on the Reduction of Single-Use Plastic Items
Single use disposable plastic items including take out containers such as cups, plates, bowls, forks, spoons, knives, plastic straws and stirrers, plastic bags and plastic water bottles pose a serious environmental problem around the world.
These items are used once and are often discarded in our streets and parks. Plastic items do not go away, they simply break down into increasingly smaller pieces.
Plastics fragments can release toxic chemicals into the environment and can be a serious health risk for humans and animals.
It is time for all of us, including both residents and businesses in Maple Ridge, to get serious about reducing the consumption of single use disposable plastic items.
- REDUCE – Choose to avoid single use items. “Just say NO to plastic straws.” Support regional strategies and/or bans on single use items.
- REUSE – Choose to bring your own coffee cup or shopping bag. “Just say NO to plastic grocery bags and disposable cups.”
- RETHINK – Choose the environment and our future over convenience.
Lately, there has been a lot of focus on single-use plastic issues in the media. It’s encouraging that people are becoming more aware about this issue and taking action.
Here are some links if you are interested in learning more:
Dialogue on Plastic Waste: online consultation for moving Canada toward zero plastic waste
City of Victoria wins court battle over right to ban plastic bags
Starbucks to Stop Using Disposable Plastic Straws by 2020
Hyatt Announces Global Efforts to Reduce Single Use Plastics
Australia Takes Stand On Single-Use Plastic Bags
Seattle Becomes First Major US City to Ban Plastic Straws & Utensils
Mumbai Bans Plastic Bags & Bottles
By the Numbers: How the World is Banning Single-Use Plastics
If you’re looking for resources, the City of Vancouver has adopted a Single-Use Plastic Reduction Strategy and there is a guide to help Restaurants and Eateries “Reduce Plastic & Benefit Your Business.”
The Problem With Plastic
Did you know every piece of plastic ever created still exists on our planet today? This is because plastic never goes away, it just breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces.
There are a number of issues with having this much plastic in our environment:
1. It never goes away.
2. It absorbs chemicals. This means recycled plastic cannot be made into food-grade containers and absorbed chemicals in non-recycled plastic may be released into the environment or any animal that ingests it.
3. Animals of all sizes mistake pieces of plastic as food, both on land and in the water.
4. Chemicals absorbed by animals affect their endocrine (hormonal) systems and can be passed to their offspring or passed along the food chain if they are eaten by a larger animal.
At the Maple Ridge Recycling Depot, we are able to accept most plastic packaging through Recycle BC’s recycling stewardship program, including:
–Hard Plastic Packaging
–Soft Plastic Bags & Overwrap
–Other Flexible Plastic Packaging
–Styrofoam (white & coloured)
But look around you – how many other plastic items do you see that don’t fit into the “packaging” category and are not recyclable? What could you use as an alternative? How much plastic do you come in contact with each day?
Plastic Free July
Annually, our summer students take on the Plastic Free July Challenge, where they attempt to go a whole month without using any single-use plastic. Any plastic they are unable to avoid goes into their “dilemma bag” which they unpack and reflect on during a Facebook Livestream session at the end of the month. Check out their Ridge Meadows Plastic Free July Facebook Group!
Ridge Meadows Recycling also has local screening rights to some great movies about this issue:
- The Clean Bin Project:
“Is it possible to live completely waste free? In this multi-award winning, festival favourite, partners Jen and Grant go head to head in a competition to see who can swear off consumerism and produce the least garbage Their light-hearted competition is set against a darker examination of the problem waste. Even as Grant and Jen start to garner interest in their project, they struggle to find meaning in their minuscule influence on the large-scale environmental impacts of our ‘throw-away society’. Described as An Inconvenient Truth meets Super Size Me, The Clean Bin Project features laugh out loud moments, stop motion animations, and unforgettable imagery. Captivating interviews with renowned artist, Chris Jordan and TED Lecturer Captain Charles Moore, make this film a fun and inspiring call to individual action that speaks to crowds of all ages.”
- A Plastic Ocean:
“In the center of the Pacific Ocean gyre our researchers found more plastic than plankton. A Plastic Ocean documents the newest science, proving how plastics, once they enter the oceans, break up into small particulates that enter the food chain where they attract toxins like a magnet. These toxins are stored in seafood’s fatty tissues, and eventually consumed by us.” Filmed in multiple locations around the world, “A Plastic Ocean” fearlessly tackles one of the largest and most wide-spread problems in our modern world.
Email email@example.com if you are interested in setting up screenings for your school, office, or community group. We also recommend “The Lorax” to introduce the topic to younger audiences.
There are also a number of easy ways for YOU to start reducing your use of single-use plastic TODAY. Check out these tips & ideas:
Thank you for choosing the environment over convenience!