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).
The Draft Zero Waste Challenge Plan for discussion [PDF]
Public Consultations – Spring Series Calendar [PDF]
Metro Vancouver Waste System
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.
I’ve been using Nambu all day and I love it more than any other app I’ve tried for Twitter over the last two years (and it also supports FriendFeed). It’s smooth, simple, and runs like a charm. Here’s a quick demo:
And an alternate Nambu view:
I’m really glad that there are so many more options for desktop Twitter management and I’d love to hear a review of the Seesmic Desktop app if anyone’s tried that yet as well.
During my adventure in Richmond yesterday I noticed the name “Brighouse” a few times in public places and thought I would uncover a bit more about this familiar name.
Samuel Brighouse was one of the earliest settlers on Burrard Inlet (he was one of the Three Greenhorns) and in later years also had a farm on Lulu Island in Richmond.
After the West End/”Greenhorn” deal, pioneer Samuel Brighouse bought up 697 acres of Richmond land in 1864 and raised horses and cattle. In 1883 he petitioned for the incorporation of Richmond as a municipality and in 1887 he ran in Vancouver’s civic election and helped obtain the City’s charter. He returned to England in 1911 and passed away two years later, though his legacy lived on.
During the first World War the Minoru Park Racetrack was closed but re-opened as Brighouse Park in 1920. In 1941, with another war and the opening of Hastings Park, Brighouse Park closed. Side note: “Minoru” was the name of a race horse.
Most municipal and well-known structures in Richmond were built on Brighouse land, from City Hall, to Minoru Park, and Richmond Centre.
The area is full of history, including being the site of Canada’s first-ever parachute jump in 1912 [VancouverHistory], the first cross-Canada flight touched down in Minoru Park in 1920, and even the lacrosse box in Brighouse Park has stood there for nearly 100 years.
A while back I was contacted by Victor Tang, the Communications & Marketing Manager at the Developmental Disabilities Association about some of their initiatives and services. In his email he asked if he would be able to send me some information however, having recently returned from our Iowa trip at the time (and our visit to Camp Courageous) I thought a personal visit to the DDA to learn more would be ideal — and the least I could do.
“In 1952, twelve parents of children with developmental disabilities came together to work towards integrating their children into public schools. By the 1990’s, that parent group, called the Vancouver-Richmond Association for Mentally Handicapped People, had become Canada’s largest charitable society of its kind west of Toronto. In 1998, recognizing changes in society, the wishes of its members, and its expanded role in the community, the Association changed its name; it is now the Developmental Disabilities Association…” [more history…]
Background & Services
The three most common examples of developmental disabilities are: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Cerebral Palsy and Down’s Syndrome. “Developmental disabilities are generally used to describe life-long impairments that are attributable to mental and/or physical disabilities.” The DDA provides programs and facilities for infants, children, adults, seniors as well as family support.
I was given a tour of an adult residential facility in Richmond today where I learned about group home living, care, and activities. We also stopped by the Riverside Child Development Centre where the out-of-school kids were learning about gardening and planting some peas. I, of course, had to pause and play with the waffle blocks for a while as they were just too fun to resist. I also came to the realization that I need a “nap room” in my house, but I digress.
“Your perception is our biggest disability,” noted Danielle White, a Director at the DDA. This quote was the main theme in a run of public service announcements last year and is an ongoing theme. Clients of the DDA lead full lives, some have jobs through the Starworks or Jobs West programs, and many are active in other non-profit activities (such as volunteering at the Food Bank or SPCA) in Richmond and Vancouver. They’re not only provided with services from the DDA but clients in turn have a chance to give back to their communities.
Recycle your goods through the DDA…
Bins: Drop cloth/clothing items in the DDA bins you see around town.
Pick-up: Have household items picked up (toys, games, dishes, records, stationary etc.)
Drop-off: Donate anything from couches to tools at the Donation Station at 2643 No. 5 Road in Richmond.
The DDA is partly supported by the BC government and the rest comes from fundraising and donations. They have bottle donation bins around Richmond and Vancouver where you can drop off your recyclables, as well as clothing donation bins (check out the interactive map to find the one closest to you). Also if you’d like to do a fundraiser for your own group, club, or sports team the DDA will partner with you for their “Cash for Clothes” program — collect 150 bags of clothing, bedding, towels, and other linens and they’ll buy it off you for $2/bag, win/win.
There are so many worthy causes in our region and it’s unfortunate that the services provided by the DDA for all ages sometimes go unnoticed. I’m hoping that this can bring a bit of awareness for this local organization that gives so much back to its community and helps others live exemplary lives of their own. You can learn more by checking out their website or feel free to follow their updates on Twitter as well.
According to News1130, Vancouver’s international image is suffering since news outlets across North America are keying in on our recent gang violence. Maybe we should just direct everyone to Vancouver is Awesome for inspiration.
After strong opposition from Burnaby groups and residents the pre-trial jail will no longer be moving in on Willingdon Street. The Surrey Leader has an interactive map to display the 60 alternate locations that span from Vancouver to Chilliwack.
VANOC didn’t get as many volunteers as-needed for the Vancouver 2010 Games ceremonies and are putting the call out again. This time, they’re looking for more males 17-35 as there was a lack of signups in that age range.
The Canucks take to the ice tonight against Calgary and as JJ explains, “a win will keep their hope for a division championship (and home-ice advantage in the playoffs) alive and a loss will all but kill it.”
The Vancouver Blogger Meetup‘s location has been confirmed as Shenanigans on Robson (same place as the karaoke). I have successfully avoided that place for four years but I guess now it’s time to take the plunge and giver’ a try among great company.
Last but not least, Earth Day is coming up (April 22nd) and eco-loving events will be taking place across the city for an entire week. I’ll have an entry up about something fun happening on Earth Weekend within the next few days and for inspiration you can read their “Top Ten Actions” online.