Ridge recycling depot workers get two-year deal
Life and work are more stable for 25 workers at the Ridge Meadows Recycling depot, now that a two-year contract extension Community Living BC is in place.
The contract means those who work at the depot in the supported work program will have jobs for a while. The workers with developmental disabilities help sort and process the tonnes of recyclables that are brought to the depot daily.
“These people deal with a wide variety of challenges in their lives, and this job allows them the opportunity to do meaningful work, interact with the others in our community and have a stable welcoming work environment,” Maple Ridge Mayor Ernie Daykin said in a news release.
The program was almost axed last September after Community Living said it would not fund it, saying it wanted workers to work in the private sector and get “real work for real pay.”
But after howls of protest, the program was reinstated, first for three months, then for the year. Social Development Minister Harry Bloy at the time, told Community Living to call the families affected and apologize.
Last year, Community Living paid the recycling society $270,000 for the supported work program, which allowed 29 developmentally disabled people to work part-time at the depot for minimum wage.
The contract also funds three support workers.
Daykin said there has been “a huge shift in the attitude” toward this program. He thanked Community Living, MLA Marc Dalton and B.C. Premier Christy Clark, who visited the centre last year.
“We’re all thrilled at this announcement,” he added.