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RMRS June, 2013 Newsletter Now Online!

Many people now know the first of the “3 Rs” is REDUCE, but what does this really mean? It can refer to reducing your energy & water usage, or reducing your garbage through diversion, or even reducing your carbon footprint. In this month’s newsletter, we take it a step further and explore the idea of reducing our consumption habits and clutter in order to increase our enjoyment of life.

We also introduce the latest item to be accepted at the Maple Ridge Recycling DepotCooking Oil, and list upcoming events in June & July. Read this month’s Recycling Report to learn more, or become a member of the Ridge Meadows Recycling Society and have the newsletters arrive directly to your inbox!

Click to download our RMRS June, 2013 Newsletter. This and past newsletters are archived on our website.

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In Honour of Seniors’ Week

The “Green Thing” (modified from original)

In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that she should bring her own grocery bag because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment. The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have the ‘green thing’ back in my day.”

Senior on Bicycle

She was right, that generation didn’t have the ‘green thing’ in its day – they didn’t need it. Back then, they returned their milk bottles, soda bottles, and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.

Back then, they washed the baby’s diapers because they didn’t have the throw-away kind. They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts. Wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, neighbours and cousins.

Back then, they had one TV, or radio, in the house – if that, not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief. In the kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand because they didn’t have electric machines to do everything for you.

When they packed a fragile item to send in the mail, they used a wadded-up, old newspaper to cushion it, not styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, they didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power. They exercised by working so they didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water. They refilled their writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and they replaced the razor blades instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus, and kids rode their bikes to school; or they rode the school bus instead of turning their parents into a 24-hour taxi service. They had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And they didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint, they just asked someone.  

The ‘green thing’ wasn’t a movement yet because there was no need for it – today’s seniors grew up in an era when most everything was reused or repaired and very little was thrown out. We have since changed to a throw-away society. How do we get back to the “good old days”?

Styrofoam Accepted at Maple Ridge Recycling Depot!

As an environmental, non-profit society, Ridge Meadows Recycling is committed to finding sound, environmental end markets for the material we collect.

Styrofoam - 2012We are excited to announce that one has developed for polystyrene, better known as styrofoam, and through the Multi Materials BC program we are able to accept this previously un-recyclable item for free drop-off at the Maple Ridge Recycling Depot. Save it up & bring it down!

Foam Only Photo Frame 2012The styrofoam is taken to a new company, Foam Only, located in Coquitlam. Foam Only takes all types of styrofoam, from polystyrene used in road construction and fridge packaging to household items like egg cartons and meat trays.

The company densifies it and reprocesses it into items like picture frames, crown molding, and baseboards.

Learn more about Foam Only through Vancity’s “Story of Impact”:

Used Cooking Oil Accepted at Maple Ridge Recycling Depot

RMRS Cooking Oil Collection Tank - May 24, 2013Recycle Used Cooking OilUsed cooking oil & grease is now accepted at the Maple Ridge Recycling Depot, located at 10092 – 236th Street, Maple Ridge, just off River Road in the Albion Industrial Park.

“The Ridge Meadows Recycling Society continues to expand its services, fully embracing the ‘one stop’ concept for ALL your recycling needs,” says Jon Harris, President of the Society, “The Maple Ridge Recycling Depot is a leader in this concept and accepts pretty well everything that has a stable recycling market. We started accepting Styrofoam at the depot last fall and cooking oil is just the latest addition to the commodities we accept.”

There is no charge to drop off cooking grease or oil as it is collected by West Coast Reductions under their “Redux” program. As their website states, this family-owned business, located in Vancouver, is “a leader in the rendering industry, operating several of the largest, cleanest, and most technologically-advanced rendering plants in North America. The used oil & grease is filtered, sterilized, and tested to produce useful products. These products include feed fat, which is used as an energy ingredient in animal feed rations, and a feedstock for commercially approved biodiesel, a cleaner-burning, alternative fuel.”

Redux Program Logo 2013“We call ourselves ‘the original recyclers,” we started nearly 50 years ago,’” says Tim Gale with West Coast Reductions, “Through the Redux program, we collect used cooking oil and are able to refine it and sell it back to local farmers who re-use its high calorific value. It’s a closed loop system.”

“Some people expect us to be able to take absolutely everything at the depot,” says Harris, “and while we’re getting pretty close, there has to be a reliable market in place before we can start accepting a new item. In this case, because a well-established company expanded into rendering used cooking oil & grease, it is now the latest thing we accept at the Maple Ridge Recycling Depot.”

For more information, visit

RMRS May, 2013 Newsletter Now Online!

Styrofoam Accepted at the Maple Ridge Recycling Depot!

Did you hear? At this year’s Ridge Meadows Home Show, we spoke to many people who were happy to find out we now accept Styrofoam at the Maple Ridge Recycling Depot, located at 10092 – 236th Street, just off River Road in the Albion Industrial Park.

Our Earth Day Celebrations were a big success and there are lots of exciting events & awareness weeks coming soon, including Food Revolution Day at the Haney Farmer’s Market! Read this month’s Recycling Report to learn more.

Click to download our RMRS May, 2013 Newsletter. This and past newsletters are archived on our website.

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Community Shows ART & Heart at Earth Day

Celebrate Earth Day Logo - 2013The community came out, the rain held off, and Earth Art was everywhere for this year’s Celebrate Earth Day festival in Maple Ridge!

This year, Earth Day Partnered with the ARTS! A HUGE thank you to our 2013 partner, the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Arts Council! From the tents full of Art Studio Tour artists displaying their talent and giving demonstrations to Maple Ridge Dance Circle’s dancers performing throughout the site, Saturday, April 20, 2013 was a day to remember. The tunes of Penelope Above and musicians at the Farmer’s Market kept the park alive with music and people gathered to hear eco-stories from the Maple Ridge Library inside the big Fish Tent in the ACT Lobby. Flash mobs were everywhere, including Robyn Picard’s swing dancers and the Ridge Meadows Seniors Society’s Spanish Dancers, Dancing Stars, and Zumba Gold.

Eco-Art connections were everywhere at Earth Day! The Maple Ridge Environmental School invited people to participate in Found Art and by the end of the day had created a beautiful mandala (roughly translated as “circle art”) out of leaves, flowers, pinecones, horsetails, and other pieces of nature. The Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Arts Council, Ridge Meadows Recycling, & Cinema Politica presented Eco-Films at the ACT and the Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association displayed electric vehicles with colourful  artistic decaling.

Downtown MR BIA Recycled Windchime Craft at Earth Day by Amber Light Photography - April 20, 2013 Two favourites from last year’s event, the Family Freecycle and the Cycle Recycle, grew even bigger this year. The Family Freecycle was held in the Greg Moore Youth Centre. “Last year we collected and gave away the equivalent of ¾ of a cube van full of gently used books, toys, and clothing – this year we gave away the equivalent of 1½!” said Freecycle Coordinator Tanis Green.

“It was definitely another great Earth Day,” said Jackie Chow from HUB: Your Cycling Connection, “We gave away 15 bikes in this year’s Cycle Recycle. My biggest regret is – as always – that I never have enough time to look at everything else that’s going on!”

“We can report a very good day,” added Eileen Dwillies, manager of the Haney Farmer’s Market, “Over 3000 people attended again this year – our counter couldn’t keep up! Sales were one third more than last year and we had very happy concession and food vendors.”

With this year’s success under their belts, organizers can start to look forward to celebrating the Haney Farmer’s Market’s 10th Anniversary with next year’s Earth Day theme, “Food!”

**scroll down for more great Earth Day photos by Amber Light Photography!**


Winners in the inaugural Celebrate Earth Day Poetry Contest:

Elementary category

1) Reid Messier – Huckleberry

2) Gavin Windsor – Funny Fungus

3) Paige Tomlinson – Forests

Secondary category

1) Elizabeth Szalajko – Of the Pine Forests

2) Rachel Weir – What Is and What Was

Adult category

1) Erin Kieneker – The Best Gift

2) Annette LeBox – Crane Count

3) Liz Hancock – The Salmon


Congratulations to the winners of our Eco-Art Connection Prizes:

1) CEED Centre with Jack Emberly, Paula Justus, Raging Grannies, Craig Spears, & Janet Amsden – Storytelling, Music, Singers, Puppets

2) Art Studio Tours & Art Innovators– Community Mural depicting logos & messages of many local environmental groups

3) Ridge Meadows Recycling with Ilona Marshall of Over the Top – Recycled Fascinators & Repurposed grocery bags

4) Alouette River Management Society – Stream of Dreams – Dreamfish Mural

5) Adopt-A-Block with Elizabeth Hancock – Painting


Zumba Gold at Earth Day by Amber Light Photography - April 20, 2013
Zumba Gold at Earth Day 2013, photo by Amber Light Photography
Environmental School Mandala by Amber Light Photography - April 20, 2013
Maple Ridge Environmental School Found Art Mandala, photo by Amber Light Photography
Art Innovators mural artist at Earth Day by Amber Light Photography - April 20, 2013
Art Innovators’ Public Art Mural at Earth Day 2013, photo by Amber Light Photography


Cycle Recycle Bikes at Earth Day by Amber Light Photography - April 20, 2013
HUB: Your Cycling Connection’s Cycle Recycle at Earth Day 2013, photo by Amber Light Photography
Candace Gordon & Eileen Dwillies at Earth Day by Amber Light Photography - April 20, 2013
Candace Gordon & Eileen Dwillies of the Haney Farmers Market, photo by Amber Light Photography
Ladybug Rock Craft at Earth Day by Amber Light Photography - April 20, 2013
Ladybug Eco-Craft at Earth Day 2013, photo by Amber Light Photography


All about EARTH ARTS DAY! April, 2013 Newsletter now online!

On Saturday, April 20 at 10am, the most vibrant, arts-filled Earth Day celebrations ever seen in Maple Ridge will kick off in Memorial Peace Park, the ACT Arts Centre & Theatre, & the Greg Moore Youth Centre. Environmental, community, and arts groups have come together to make this a day to remember. For 4 hours the event site will be filled with flash mobs, music, art, stories, poetry, crafts, food, laughter, wonder, and so much more. Come early to avoid disappointment!

Click to download the Earth Day 2013 Site Map and Schedule of Events

Please share this with anyone you know who loves the earth, loves the arts, and loves being a part of great community festivals!

Have a fantastic Earth Day and see you Saturday!

Click here to download a pdf copy of the RMRS April, 2013 Newsletter. The photos below are just a quick preview 🙂 This and past newsletters are archived on our website.

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