Five different times in the coming weeks have been set aside for free tours of the recycling depot in Maple Ridge. (Special to The News)

Five different times in the coming weeks have been set aside for free tours of the recycling depot in Maple Ridge. (Special to The News)

VIDEO: More insight into plastics recycling highlighted with tours

Maple Ridge depot hosts site visits to help educate residents about protecting the environment

Dozens typically attend the summer recycling depot tours, and those kinds of numbers are once again expected this year.

Three dates have been set aside for this year’s tours at the Ridge Meadows Recycling Society’s depot off River Road in Albion.

Led by the society’s environmental educator Dan Mikolay, residents tour the facilities and learn about what happens to their recycling.

These depot tours are fun and engaging, teaching people how they can take better care of the environment in their day-to-day lives, said Uzair Rizwan, a RMRS summer education student.

“I thought recycling was such as simple thing before I worked here,” Rizwan shared.

“But, really, it is a giant, complex system made of many components and processes. The journey a piece of plastic takes from your curbside recycling to being made into a new product is mind blowing,” he said.

This year marks the society’s 50th anniversary, and the grassroots, community organization continues to engage Maple Ridge residents and provide education about environmental issues and conservation, something the team has been doing since the early 1970s.

Recently, the world of recycling changed with the announcement of the federal ban on six single-use plastic items including plastic bags, stir sticks, plastic utensils, food ware, and plastic straws starting Jan. 1, 2023.

The upcoming depot tours will show the magnitude of plastic consumption, and how these items get processed at the depot.

It will also help residents understand why these changes are taking place and encourage people to move towards reusable products before the ban comes into effect – something some residents are already doing through the July Plastic-Free Challenge.

RELATED: Maple Ridge recycling society encouraging community to take part in Plastic Free July

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

Tour highlights may include heavy machinery demonstrations including metal crushing, the hydraulic baler, recycling trucks unloading. For safety reasons, participants are asked to wear closed-toed shoes and caregivers are asked to keep young children close by.

Mosquito repellent is also highly recommended

Registration will be limited. Online forms are now available on the society’s website, or by calling 604-463-5545 to save a spot.

The Ridge Meadows Recycling Depot is located at 10092 236th St.

The tours are being offered at 12 and 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 30, as well as 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 9, and noon and 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 13.

PAST COVERAGE: Ridge Meadows Recycling Society adds another depot tour

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