White Rock Volkswagen service manager Sam Rahman chats with BC Recycles ambassadors Courtney Miller (centre) and Kathleen Belton about tire recycling.

Recycling tour visits South Surrey

Ambassadors visit businesses to promote responsible practices.

Recycling ambassadors touring the province to gather feedback on stewardship programs and promote responsible recycling visited the Semiahmoo Peninsula last month.

The July 29 stop at White Rock Volkswagen was one of more than 100 site visits planned in Surrey, and among more than 1,500 to be made across B.C. by Aug. 28. They’ve been making the rounds since May.

“It’s great to hear what’s working, of course, (and) it’s great to hear what’s not working,” said Kathleen Belton.

“We’ve had really good feedback.”

The tour is an evolution of the BC Used Oil Summer Ambassador Tour, which ran for more than a decade. It represents the joining together of nine provincial product stewardships – covering used oil, tires, beverage containers, electronics, batteries, medications, light bulbs, small appliances and more – under the BC Recycles banner, with the aim to increase recycling awareness and collection rates.

All of the facility visits are unscheduled, but are typically well-received, said Belton and partner ambassador Courtney Miller, who comprise one of two pairs of Simon Fraser University co-op students conducting the surveys.

For Sam Rahman, service manager at White Rock Volkswagen, it was an opportunity to express a need for more consistent pickup of tires collected at the dealership for recycling.

The site is not a designated drop-off for used tires, but does amass old tires through the sale of new tires. Space to store them, however, is limited.

“He needs once a week (pickup),” Belton said.

The ambassadors share the information they glean – both critical and complimentary – with the appropriate stewardship.

“We’re going to make note of it to try and get him help,” said Miller.

The service “has to be tailored to everyone,” she added, “which is part of why we’re out here.”

Belton said she is confident the tour is making a difference, both in improving the recycling stewardships and spreading the word. Active in the environment and recycling “all my life,” she said it’s important to let people know that it doesn’t take super-human effort to do their part. For example, old medications can be taken to a local pharmacy; burnt-out lightbulbs can be dropped off at London Drugs.

“That’s a big thing, is making people realize how easy it is,” Belton said.

For more information on BC Recycles and product stewardships, visit www.bcrecycles.ca

 

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