Waste & Recycling


RCBC announces award winners

What do a place called Free Geek, the Vancouver Sun's editorial team, the North Shore's recycling program, a group ...

What do a place called Free Geek, the Vancouver Sun’s editorial team, the North Shore’s recycling program, a group of East Vancouver elementary school students dealing with dyslexia, a career civil servant from the Okanagan and London Drugs all have in common? They are being recognized by the Recycling Council of B.C. (RCBC) for their leadership in environmental stewardship over the past year.

On Thursday, June 26 at its 34th annual zero waste conference, RCBC will present its annual environmental achievement awards in seven categories: non-profit, private sector, public sector, education, youth, journalism and individual achievement.

In fact, this year, one organization has achieved the unprecedented and garnered awards in two categories.

This year’s award winners are:


Free Geek Vancouver

Provides refurbished computers to those in our community who would not otherwise have access, due to economic circumstances

Pioneers in pushing for open and transparent e-waste tracking

Recently certified as the first ethical recycler of e-waste in Canada under the BAN protocol

Operates a completely transparent partnership system with end-of-life recyclers

Private Sector

London Drugs

Has reduced waste by 40 per cent across its chain of 68 stores in Western Canada

Patented process to remove metals from photofinishing effluent and recycle canisters, film shells and paper rolls.

Offers take-back of all packaging associated with goods sold at and transported to stores

Offers customers collection and recycling of hard to handle items such as Styrofoam

Public Sector and Education

The North Shore Recycling program is the recipient of two awards this year.

Has one of the most successful municipal recycling programs in the Lower Mainland and is a model for other communities to emulate.

The program covers all three North Shore municipalities and may be the one thing they have ever all agreed on.

In 2007 this program diverted:

16,632 tonnes of recyclables

9,298 tonnes of yard trimmings

Outreach programs reached 4,099 people

Monthly gardening tips newsletter goes to more than 1600 residents

Collects revenue from the sale of recycled materials and in 2007 alone earned $1.1 million


THRIVE Program Nootka Elementary School

Program’s grade 4 through 7 students are dealing with dyslexia and other learning disabilities

The kids created a research and production team and produced a short film about garbage in Metro Vancouver

Visited all major waste management facilities in lower mainland and shot interviews with elected officials and engineers

Film is a very prescient overview of the waste issues and challenges faced by Metro Vancouver, and encourages the public to become active in the solution


Patricia Graham and Vancouver Sun Editorial Team

The Sun has taken a leadership role in integrating environmental issues into everyday reporting and writing. In this newsroom the environment is no longer a fringe issue.
Coverage far exceeds that of their peers and spans daily bites to news items to features to special reports

The paper has taken its readership on a journey of discovery and learning, from David Suzuki’s day in the editor’s chair to Denise Ryan’s personal project to live within a smaller footprint, from Francis Bula’s investigation of what other cities are doing, to Miro Cernetig’s musings on the machinations behind the policy-making.


Don Hamilton, Waste Reduction Manager, Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen

Started the second local recycling program in B.C. in 1980 and for 28 years has worked to increase waste diversion in RDOS

Helped develop RDOS Air Quality program to curtail outdoor wood waste burning

Developed first free Household Hazardous Waste depot in B.C.’s Interior

Developing specialized DLC waste landfill at Okanagan Falls the first of its kind in B.C.

All of these award recipients, in one way or another have integrated concern and care for the environment into their daily way of life and business. RCBC celebrates and congratulates them all for their outstanding achievement.

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