Tours of the recycling depot are open again this summer, so people can learn more about what happens after they put their recycling to the curb. (Special to The News)

Tours of the recycling depot are open again this summer, so people can learn more about what happens after they put their recycling to the curb. (Special to The News)

All ages invited again to tour recycling depot

Ridge Meadows Recycling Society plans two events open to the public this summer, July 27 and Aug. 14

Maple Ridge recycling depot can return to in-person tours this summer.

As the world opens up again and COVID restrictions lessen, Ridge Meadaows Recycling Society (RMRS) is gearing up for its first depot tour in well over a year since the beginning of the pandemic.

The first one will be on Tuesday, July 27, and the second on Saturday, Aug. 14, giving people a chance to find out what happens to their recycling once it’s picked up from the curb, said the society’s environmental educator Dan Mikolay.

“We are already receiving sign-ups, so act fast if you want to join in,” he said.

Mikolay, who leads the tours, invites resident to participate and learn more about what happens to their recycling and “how they can take better care of the environment in their day-to-day life,” he said.

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The depot tours are engaging events that are fun for visitors of all ages, Mikolay added.

Ella Treleaven, a summer education student at the depot, said one of the first things she learned when she started working for the society was what people can and can’t recycle.

“I thought I already knew all there was to know, but I was blown away by my own misconceptions about how I thought recycling worked!” she said.

With society’s 50th anniversary coming up in 2022, the community organization continues to engage Maple Ridge residents and provide education about environmental issues and conservation – something they have been doing since the early 1970s.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, single-use plastic became even more widespread than usual in society.

For a time, reusable bags and cups were prohibited and disposable items became commonplace, Treleaven explained.

This societal shift resulted in a huge increase in items going to landfill.

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The depot tour is designed to give residents a better understanding of the impact single-use items and plastic have on the earth, and ways they can reduce their consumption, as society return to a new normal.

On the tour, participants will go through a brief safety orientation, put on safety vests, and receive a backstage tour of the recycling depot.

Staff may be on hand to give demonstrations of the machinery, including metal crushing and the hydraulic baler.

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For safety reasons, participants are asked to wear closed-toed shoes and caregivers are asked to keep young children close by.

Registration will be limited.

Online forms are now available at Ridge Meadows Recycling Society’s website https://rmrecycling.org/education-2/tour-the-depot or by calling 604-463-5545 to save a spot.

The depot tours are outdoors only, but people who are not fully vaccinated are requested to wear masks.

The recycling depot is located at 10092 236th St., in Albion.

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