Second Thursday of the month (email us for details)
Note: For regular updates, please Like the Nechako Waste Reduction Initiative on Facebook. Click here for our page.
Find out about local recycling locations here.
Welcome to the Nechako Waste Reduction Initiative's website! This site is here to keep local residents informed on the current recycling options and waste reduction initiatives in Vanderhoof, as well as to provide general information and links to everything there is to know about waste reduction. Have a browse through our site, and please send us your comments. New stories are added below while updates from past events and achievements have been moved to the Past News page.
Changes to Corrugated Cardboard Recycling
Household Corrugated Cardboard
Corrugated cardboard recycling in Vanderhoof has undergone some large changes in the last month! Corrugated cardboard is no longer accepted as garbage at the Vanderhoof Transfer Station. Corrugated cardboard recycling for households in Vanderhoof is now available beside the mixed paper and plastic bins at the Transfer Station. The District of Vanderhoof will no longer pick up corrugated cardboard that is set out with garbage for curbside pickup.
ICI (Industrial, Commercial, Institutional) Corrugated Cardboard
Corrugated cardboard recycling for ICI customers is available locally through Nechako Valley Community Services Society (NVCSS) or through All Points Waste or Waste Management in Prince George. For more info on the pick up service offered by NVCSS, click here.
All corrugated cardboard for recycling should be clean (no food or oil residue). The boxes should also be flattened.
New Waste Reduction Guide
With electronics recycling up and running in Vanderhoof, check out our latest recycling guide:
New Beverage Container Recycling Bins!
With the generous support of the Integris Credit Union Community Foundation, we are excited to be installing four new beverage container recycling bins in Vanderhoof for use by folks who are out and about! We will soon have eight recycling bins scattered around different parts of town. If you are walking around with a bottle or can, please use the recycling bins! Click below for a map of the recycling bin locations:
The Nechako Waste Reduction Initiative is excited to offer our Green Toolkit for use by individuals, clubs, teams, and other groups in Vanderhoof. Are you organizing an event and want to minimize the amount of waste that you create? Consider our Green Toolkit!
For a small fee, you can access up to 200 place settings to replace the need for wasteful, single-use paper or Styrofoam plates and plastic utensils. In addition to being better for the environment, the Green Toolkit is sturdy, easily portable, looks great, and can handle everything from burgers to steaks and chili to cake!
Waste Reduction Education!
The Nechako Waste Reduction Initiative is excited to announce that we are offering free waste reduction workshops for classrooms, community groups, and other youth programs across Vanderhoof. If you are interested in having us lead a workshop in your class or program, contact our Sustainability Coordinator for details.
The waste reduction workshop can be customized to fit your learning objectives and outcomes! We've led activities exploring waste volumes in Vanderhoof, how recycled paper is made, how landfills work, products' lifecycles, how young people can reduce, reuse, and recycle, and more! From Kindergarten to Grade 12, there is something for everyone! Connect with us for more information!
Vanderhoof left out of changes to recycling in British Columbia
As you may have seen in the news, major changes have come to printed paper and packaging recycling in British Columbia. Essentially, the recycling of those products is now intended to be financed by industry instead of government and an organization known as Multi-Material BC is taking responsibility for those products.
Unfortunately, Vanderhoof - along with many other small communities in British Columbia - has been left out of this system. We believe that this is profoundly unfair and have sent a letter to Multi-Material BC and government representatives to share our concerns, highlight the impacts of this decision on local residents, and suggest some possible solutions. We encourage you to check out the letter, which you can download by clicking here.
The full-text of the letter can also be seen here.
Mixed Paper & Household Plastics Recycling Bins at the Vanderhoof Waste Transfer Station
recently had some questions about why the mixed paper and plastic
recycling bins at the Vanderhoof Waste Transfer Station get so full
before they are emptied so we thought we'd share the reason here! Please
feel free to spread the word if you hear similar questions! As always,
you are welcome to contact our Sustainability Coordinator at
email@example.com if you have any questions - we love hearing from the community!
Ultimately, the reason that the bins tend to get quite full before they are emptied is to save you money! Here's why:
The Nechako Waste Reduction Initiative - funded by the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako (i.e., by all Regional District residents!) - is billed by the recycling collection company each time that the bins are emptied and replaced. We check on the bins every two days and make a decision to have them emptied based on how full they are at that time. The company in Prince George that picks up the bins is very responsive and usually able to empty the bins within 24 hours of our request. In order to make sure that we are getting the most bang for our (or rather: your) buck, we try to ensure that the bins are quite full - though not overflowing - whenever we make the call to Prince George. We figure that if a truck is coming from Prince George, better that they take 3 tonnes of material back with them than having them take two separate trips to pick up 1.5 tonnes each time. Even though we aim for full bins whenever we call, we always try to ensure that there is room for whoever may be dropping off their recycling that day. While we try to keep room, sometimes a big drop-off or two can throw off that balance and we do apologize for those occasions! Ultimately, this system lets us be more responsive to high-volume recycling times (like Spring cleaning and Christmas - when wrapping paper and boxes tend to fill the bins) while ensuring that we don't waste resources during lower-volume recycling times (like the Summer when many community members are away). It has also let us adapt to the general trend of increased recycling in Vanderhoof in a way that standard, scheduled pick-up times wouldn't have allowed.
Hopefully this all makes sense! Keep those questions coming - we love to see folks thinking about waste-related issues!
Article in the Updater
For those of you who missed the article in February's District of Vanderhoof Updater, here's the profile of the Nechako Waste Reduction Initiative that appeared:
The Nechako Waste Reduction Initiative was created in 2009 with the mission of initiating and supporting effective ways to reduce waste in the community of Vanderhoof.
To accomplish this, we oversee recycling in Vanderhoof, organize local events, publish education and outreach materials, provide a “green toolkit” of reusable place settings for local events, and more! All of these activities are suggested and created by our members, all of whom share a passion for a greener, healthier, and more sustainable Vanderhoof!
Why waste reduction? In 2012, the average Vanderhoof resident created 513 kilograms of waste that went to the landfill. Does all of that waste have to end up there? Not even close! A recent audit of Vanderhoof’s garbage revealed that 36% of what we throw out is organic (e.g., food waste), 24% is paper, and 12% is plastic. That means that nearly three quarters of our waste could be composted or recycled rather than landfilled! And this doesn’t count the impact of waste reduction strategies that we can all do to avoid creating waste in the first place, like using reusable grocery bags, using your own water bottle or coffee mug, and more.
As a community, we are moving in the right direction! In 2013, Vanderhoof residents recycled 164,320 kilograms of paper, plastic, and cardboard – meaning those materials stayed out of the landfill! Mixed plastic and paper can be recycled 7 days a week at the Vanderhoof Waste Transfer Station and corrugated cardboard can be recycled behind the Co-Op (near the train tracks) during Co-Op store hours.
If you are interested in supporting a greener, healthier, and more sustainable Vanderhoof, there are many ways to get involved:
- Become a member of the Nechako Waste Reduction Initiative to contribute your own creative waste reduction ideas and see them come to life!
- Volunteer for our green events, including the Community Clean-Up taking place this April.
- Connect with us on Facebook or via our e-newsletter.
And, of course, rethinking, reducing, reusing, and recycling your own waste is the best way to contribute to a waste-free Vanderhoof!
For our meeting schedule, waste reduction tips, and a complete list of recycling locations in Vanderhoof, visit www.nechakowri.ca.
RDBN Sustainability Newsletter
Check out the sustainability newsletter produced by the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako (RDBN). Every month, a new issue will be posted, with recycling news from around the region, tips sustainable living, crafts, recipes and more. It can be accessed on their website through this link!
Waste Reduction Guide now available!
Have you ever wondered where you can take a regular, household item for recycling? NWRI now has an answer with our Vanderhoof Waste Reduction Guide. Organized by category, take a look at our handy guide which lists locations of where you can bring your household items for recycling. From antifreeze to eyeglasses to milk containers, your recycling options are in the guide! To see the guide click here.
Benefits of Recycling-Reusing-Reducing our Waste
You know the benefits - reduced load on our landfill, better for the environment, good for our kids and their kids down the line. But a benefit of recycling not often considered, is that by recycling our waste we can help save the community and Regional District money in unnecessary hauling charges. This money then could instead be channeled to other things to benefit our community and region.
Click on the pie chart below to learn more about waste and waste-reduction in our community.
NWRI is on FACEBOOK - link below to get to our Facebook page and photo gallery.