You could consider them, back then, 40 years ago, a bunch of eco-freaks bent on challenging the establishment – with no particular goal in mind.
But the rebels did have a cause, and it endured and has done lots for the environment since the creation of the Ridge Meadows Recycling Society in 1972.
All the good work done throughout the years, leading to the opening of the centre in the Albion Industrial Area and the reduction of tonnes of waste, will be celebrated with several events.
This Thursday, at 7 p.m., a screening of the movie The Clean Bin Project, will take place in Maple Ridge council chambers. That’s a movie about a Vancouver couple who try to live without producing any household garbage.
The video was produced by Grant Baldwin, who’s also doing a commemorative video about the Ridge Meadows Recycling Society, now in its final edit.
“We’re excited, because we have a lot of things coming up this year,” said Leanne Koehn, with the society.
Koehn’s parents are Julie and Dave Koehn, two of the founders of the society. Dave was the first president of the recycling society and an early member of the Society Promoting Environmental Conservation.
“It was something they could focus on that wasn’t against something,” Leanne explains.
Part of the year-long celebration includes a display at the Maple Ridge Museum that starts Feb. 5 and runs until April.
And this Earth Day, April 21, the recycling society is leading the day with celebrations in the Arts Centre Theatre and Memorial Peace Park.
In October, the society helps launch the Go Green Environmental School challenges to tie in with Waste Reduction Week, from Oct. 15 to 21.
The society is also revamping its website and using YouTube videos to explain the recycling processes.
Leanne Koehn explains that the actual birthdate of the recycling society is unclear because it grew out of a committee of SPEC.
But Earth Day is what inspired locals to start recycling here, so that day serves as the society’s anniversary.
The Ridge Meadows Recycling Depot is at 10092 – 236th St., just off River Road. It accepts all electronics, small and large appliances, cellphones, CFL light bulbs, oil, paint and pesticides and is open seven days a week, starting at 8 a.m.
Used items that can be bought at the depot include books and magazines, canning jars, and bicycles. Free left over paint that people have dropped off is also available for those odd jobs.