Next spring, Vancouver is starting a new trend in recycling. The Vancouver Recycling Drive 2015 is going to be the first, of hopefully many, ‘mass recycling’ events held by the city in and effort to help people live cleaner, and simpler, while also giving the participants a tax credit for certain items and weight limits.
The idea behind the event is sort of a ‘spring clean’ for the entire city. Get rid of everything you don’t need, while giving the province tonnes of material to use in manufacturing and development of upcoming sustainable projects.
One of the goals of the city is to collect enough reusable metal, like steel and aluminum, to frame a low income housing project on the downtown east side. 55 Water Street is a proposed 4 storey low rise which will be able to house up to 45 low income residents of the city. The design of the building is entirely sustainable, making use of solar power, and the city’s abundant rain supply for grey water needs. The city expects to collect enough donated metal to frame the development, while utilizing a paper mix concrete alternative which the university campus alone should be able to supply!
There are similar projects planned for neighbouring Burnaby and Coquitlam, which are also holding local recycling drives.
Tax credits will be given to those who are able to donate 50 or more pounds of steel or aluminum. Also, anybody donating 2 or more pieces of furniture will receive a carbon tax credit also.
All furniture which is in usable condition will be refurbished through the province’s correctional facilities, which have developed a new rewards program for inmates who participate. This will then be donated to underprivileged families in the area.
Larger items can be arranged for pick up and are eligible for a $100 tax rebate. This can be anything from backyard items like trampolines, barbecues, and swing sets to old freezers, fridges, washing machines, and other household appliances. On top of the credit, the province will waive the PST on the purchase of a replacement appliance within six months of the recycling drive. Not a bad incentive if you were already thinking of doing some upgrades in your home!
While the general purpose of the Vancouver Recycling Drive is to bring awareness to sustainability, the campaigns also focus on bringing attention to all of the advances in recycling facilities in the past decade. Many people are currently unaware of what items are recyclable or not. In the old days, it used to be pop cans and water bottles, however, recently almost anything can be recycled. Paper, almost all plastics, electronics, woods, just about anything non organic is able to be repurposed in the city’s recycling plants.
The other purpose is to bring awareness to living with what you need, and not buying in excess. While this might seem counter intuitive to a sustainable economy, the purpose is to encourage residents to spend their money experiencing the city and promoting the LOCAL economy through dining, social events, and ecological activities. There is plenty to do in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland and plenty of businesses which will thrive from local investment in their services.
The drive takes place over the May long weekend and each neighbourhood will receive instructions from local radio stations through advertisements running December – May, or by checking out the Vancouver Recycling Drive’s website which will be up and running by October.