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Recycling Resources in Metro Vancouver and BC

It’s not unusual to feel a little like Sherlock Holmes when you are trying to figure out where in the world to recycle or dispose of your old stuff.  You can use basic deductive reasoning and call your local municipality or recycling centre to try and get some answers. You can just pile up your old TV, propane cannisters, paint cans and other old stuff in the back of your garage in the hopes that it will magically disappear (or call Green Coast Rubbish to come and recycle it for you!). Or like Sherlock Holmes, you can do some “elementary” research using one of these great recycling resources to solve even the most puzzling recycling mysteries.

Recycling Resources in BC

1. BC Recyclepedia Smart Phone App 

We like this handy little app which offers recycling options throughout British Columbia for over 70 materials. Select the item(s) you want to recycle or dispose of from the pick list and you will receive a list of the 10 nearest depot’s and a Google map with directions. Download this free app onto your iPhone or Android device or view the same information on the Recyclepedia web page.

2. Metro Vancouver Recycles

Residents and businesses can visit the Metro Vancouver Recycles web page to find places to donate or recycle just about anything. You will be asked to select the material you wish to recycle or dispose of and provide your location information to get a list of suitable recycling options.

3. North Shore Recycling – Recycling Directory

If you live on the North Shore you are probably already familiar with North Shore Recycling; however their recycling directory is a great resource for all Metro Vancouver residents. This extensive directory describes where you can recycle your items as well as connecting you with detailed information on provincial stewardship programs and other resources.

4. Recycling Hotline

When all else fails and you can’t solve the mystery of where to take your items for recycling, the Recycling Council of British Columbia’s Recycling Hotline is the place to call. You’ll find an expert at the end of the line who will be able to do the detective work for any recycling or disposal mysteries you may be experiencing. Call 604-RECYCLE; 604-732-9253; or 1-800-667-4321 or email hotline@rcbc.ca.

5. Sell or Donate It

Sell or donate your reusable stuff to others using one of a variety of local websites such as:

No mystery here Watson. Just some good old fashioned detective work!

 

Deconstructing Vancouver’s Green Demolition Bylaw

Home owners and property developers in the city of Vancouver will follow new demolition waste recycling requirements for houses built before 1940 thanks to the Green Demolition Bylaw which went into effect on September 1, 2014. From now on, a minimum of 75% of the demolition waste from these older homes will be recycled; and that number increases to 90% for character houses from the same era.

We had the opportunity to interview Senior Sustainability Specialist Hugo Haley from the City of Vancouver to find out more about the Green Demolition Bylaw and what it means for home owners and developers. Here’s what he was able to share with us:

Q:  What led the City of Vancouver to establish these new recycling requirements for pre-1940’s houses?

demolition

Traditional demolition sends tonnes of waste to our landfills.

A: Metro Vancouver’s regional solid waste plan requires all municipalities to do more to encourage recycling of construction and demolition waste. Also, the City of Vancouver’s Greenest City Action Plan’s Zero Waste goal is to reduce the amount of solid waste disposed to landfill by 50% by 2020. To achieve this goal, the City intends to improve demolition waste recycling performance, and put in place policies to achieve 50,000 tonnes additional recycling from the demolition and construction waste sector.

Q: What is the difference between a pre-1940’s home to one that was built later that prompted this policy? Will newer home demolitions become subject to similar recycling requirements in the future?

A: Homes built before 1940 often have valuable architectural features … built with old growth timber and other valuable materials. The City would like to discourage older character homes from being demolished … if they are going to be demolished, the City wants to ensure that a high percentage of demolition materials are reused or recycled. In the future, the City would like to include recycling requirements for all ages classes of homes to make sure valuable and usable materials are kept out of the landfill.

Q: What is “deconstruction” and why is it being used to demolish these older homes?

A: Deconstruction is an alternative to traditional demolition. Deconstruction is a more systematic and careful approach to taking apart the house where more of the materials are kept intact and can then be separated for reuse and recycling.

deconstruction

Deconstruction techniques allow higher recycling rates.

Q: Is this new bylaw unique in Metro Vancouver, perhaps even in North America?

A: These requirements are not unique in North America. There are numerous municipalities in the United States that require demolition waste recycling, with California’s requirements applying state wide. Cities with similar policies include Chicago, Seattle, San Fransicso and Boulder. In Metro Vancouver, the city of Port Moody has such a policy.

Q: Do you have any relevant statistics you can share including how many demolitions and how much material you think will be diverted from the landfill each year?

A: There are about 1,000 homes demolished in the city of Vancouver every year. About 350 of those are from the pre-1940 era and subject to the new requirements. We expect about 12,000 tonnes of additional reuse and recycling to be achieved in the first year … This amount will increase as the requirements extend to more homes.

Green Coast Rubbish President & CEO Eamonn Duignan wrote a letter to Council in support of the new bylaw saying “we whole heartily support this policy initiative … far too often we see reusable or recyclable material landfilled, simply because there is no regulatory framework in place.”

Green Coast Rubbish specializes in demolition and deconstruction services.

If you are considering the deconstruction of a pre-1940’s home, here are some helpful links for more information:

Electronics Recycling and E-Waste

We live in a pretty amazing time. It seems every week, an announcement for some new technology changes the face of televisions, computers, or cell phones. Electronics are getting smaller (or in the case of TV’s, BIGGER), faster, and more equipped to handle all the tasks in our busy lives. But it comes at a cost. With a built-in obsolesce period for most gadgets being less than 2 years, people are finding themselves with basements and attics full of old TVs, printers, and VCR’s (remember those?). It all adds up to a huge amount of waste here in Canada each year.

It seems that many people are just unsure of what to do with it all. This fascinating (and somewhat alarming) StatsCan website shows the percentage of Canadians who have unwanted electronics in their households… in British Columbia, up to 31% of homes have unused televisions in their homes! Just wander down any alley in the Vancouver, and it’s likely that you’ll see abandoned electronics left beside dumpsters. Unfortunately, if they are not properly disposed of, these devices can get thrown into landfills, or sent to developing countries where they are dismantled for metal or parts; oftentimes without safety equipment. If handled improperly, the individuals doing it can be exposed to dangerous substances such as mercury, lead, and chromium—all known to be extremely toxic to humans, animals, and the environment.

We can help. Whether it’s a massive TV, old CRT monitor, or burnt out computer tower; whatever you have, we can take care of it for you. Quickly, easily and in the most environmentally conscious way possible. In 2012 alone, Green Coast Rubbish recycled 5.1 tonnes of electronics, and nearly 3 tonnes of TV’s. (Which, for those who are curious, equals roughly the same weight as an African Elephant).

After pickup, we work together with Encorp, a federally incorporated, not-for-profit association who is committed to recycling within our communities. They ensure that e-waste is properly processed, with all usable components diverted, and any remaining parts disposed of in safe and ethical ways.

You have a lot on your mind. Having these items collecting dust in your home creates both physical and mental clutter in your life. With a single call, we can handle it, and you can get back to focusing on what’s most important.

 

 

BC Bike Race Turns a Shade of Green

One of the coolest parts of our jobs is getting a chance to work with a diverse group of organizations, and helping to efficiently divert their waste into recycling efforts whenever possible.

This is why we are especially thrilled to be partnering with the BC Bike Race (BCBR) to provide waste management services for this year’s event. Loving this sport ourselves, (did you know Eamonn, the founder & CEO of Green Coast used to be a pro mountain biker for NSMB.com and Rocky Mountain Bikes?) it gives us a great excuse to get out into the sunshine for a week, and combine what we enjoy most: finding creative ways to divert waste, mountain biking, and the great outdoors. It’s a win for everyone!

DayTwo -012

The BCBR is an annual 7-day mountain bike race that begins in North Vancouver on June 29, travels to Vancouver Island, and finishes off in Whistler on July 6. It is a fun and rigorous event, and the 500 lucky participants get to experience some of the most beautiful parts of our British Columbian landscape, while striving to achieve and surpass personal and competitive goals.

Each year the BC Bike Race grows in popularity, with riders traveling from all over the world to take part. More participants and spectators translate to more potential waste, which creates a unique opportunity for us to work in conjunction with the BCBR to analyze the footprint of the event, and create a custom program to reduce the event’s environmental impact with tailored recycling and waste reduction initiatives. To say we’re excited would be an understatement. Keep your eye out for an update on our experience of this year’s BC Bike Race!  

Recycle Your Christmas Tree!

Yet another Christmas day has come and past and now you are faced with the decision of what to do with your Christmas tree? We at Green Coast are asking you not to toss it, but recycle it responsibly! 

If you live in Metro Vancouver there are plenty of options for recycling or composting your green beauty. To help you achieve this, we have put together a comprehensive list of local facilities, tree chipping events and environmentally friendly solutions for recycling your Christmas tree this holiday season.

North Shore

First and foremost, you can compost your Christmas tree by including it with your regular curbside “Green Can” collection materials. Just be sure that it is cut and bundled into piles no larger than 3 feet by 1 foot. Or, if that seems like too much work, you can support one of the many local tree chipping events listed below:

North Vancouver Lions Club

Location: Karen Magnussen Community Centre – 2300 Kirkstone Road, North Vancouver, BC.

Location: Highland Chevron – 3150 Edgemont Blvd, North Vancouver, BC.

Date & Time: Jan. 6th from 9:30am to 3:30pm

Cost: By donation

Seymour Scouts (11th and 13th)

Location: Parkgate Village Shopping Centre – Mount Seymour Road, North Vancouver, BC.

Date: Jan. 6th from 9:00am to 4:30pm

Cost: By donation

City of North Vancouver Firefighters

Location: RONA – 1160 East 3rd Street, North Vancouver, BC.

Date & Time: Jan. 5th from 8:30am to 4:30pm

Cost: By donation

Ambleside Tiddlycove Lions Club

Location: Ambleside Park – 13th Street and Marine Drive, West Vancouver, BC.

Date & Time: Jan. 1st to Jan. 6th – Weekdays: 12:00pm to 4:00pm; Weekends: 10:00am to 4:00pm

Cost: By donation

Source: North Shore Recycling Program 

Vancouver

For residents of Vancouver with regular green waste pickup, you can include your Christmas tree with your curbside recycling until January 31st. To leave it curbside, the tree must be unbagged and placed at least 3 feet from the wheeled carts before 7:00am on collection day.

Alternatively, you can drop your tree off for free at the Vancouver Transfer Station Recycling Depot-377 West Kent Avenue N, Vancouver, BC. If neither of those options work, you can always drop off your tree at any of the tree recycling events listed below:

Lions Club Christmas Tree Recycling

Location: Kerrisdale Community Community Centre – 5851 West Blvd, Vancouver, BC

Location: Kits Beach – Parking lot by Cornwall Street and Arbutus Street, Vancouver, BC.

Location: Sunset Beach Upper parking lot by Pacific Boulevard and Broughton Street, Vancouver, BC.

Location:  RONA – 2727 East 12th Avenue, Vancouver, BC.

Dates: January 7th to 8th

Christmas Tree Recycling at UBC

Location: UBC Botanical Garden – 6804 South West Marine Drive, Vancouver, BC.

Dates and Time: Dec. 26 to Jan 8th from 9:30am to 4:30pm

Cost: $5 donation (suggested)

Burnaby

If you are a resident of Burnaby, you can drop off your Christmas tree for free at the Burnaby Yard Waste Depot-4800 Still Creek Avenue, Burnaby, BC.

Richmond

Single-family homes in the City of Richmond can include their Christmas trees with their curbside pickup, but make sure to cut and bundle the tree into 3 feet x 2 feet piles. You can also take your tree to the City of Richmond Recycling Depot-5555 Lynas Lane, Richmond, BC.

Source: Vancity Buzz 

Please recycle or compost your Christmas tree this holiday season. It’s the green thing to do!