The other day we were taking our recyclables down to the bins and noticed the garbage dumpster was overflowing (at least 3 feet above the rim). When we got closer I noticed that one of the top layers of waste was milk and orange juice cartons – about a dozen of them. With six recycle bins within meters of this dumpster I found this waste unnecessary, which is why I’m happy to promote some of Metro Vancouver‘s latest initiatives that will hopefully inform and educate.
“Metro Vancouver Recycles is a directory of over 1,300 locations in Metro Vancouver to donate, recycle or appropriately dispose of unwanted items such as computers, clothing, toys, building materials, furniture and much more. It also lists places to find used items,” said Greg Valou of Metro Vancouver in an email. You can check out the directory listing, plus interactive Google Map, on the Metro Vancouver website where it aims to answer the question, “where can I take this?”
Another initiative is the Zero Waste Challenge and you can find information online about reducing, reusing, and recycling at home or at the office. They even have scheduled meetings and public consultations that will help keep your group of family informed, while providing you with all of the information you need to make eco-conscious decisions in your daily life. You can learn about banned & restricted materials, SmartSteps, BuildSmart, take-back programs, RCBC (604-RECYCLE), composting food waste, blue box recycling in your area, paper recycling, used oil recycling (just to name a few ways you can play your part).
Currently, residents of Metro Vancouver only recycle half of their garbage and solid waste each year. “As you may know, our region faces the question of how to effectively manage the waste produced by our ever-growing population,” noted Valou. “We can all play our part in the Zero Waste Challenge by consciously reducing the amount of waste we each produce.”
Getting to “Zero Waste” actually does seem like quite the challenge, but the region is up for it. They’ve even expanded the “3Rs” to the “5Rs” – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover, Residuals.
Metro Vancouver is comprised of the following: Belcarra, Bowen Island, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Delta, Langley Township, Langley City, Lions Bay, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, North Vancouver City, North Vancouver District, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Richmond, Surrey, Vancouver, West Vancouver, White Rock.