A new recycling program will be coming into effect district-wide across SD43 in March after spring break. This program will be applied to all elementary, middle, and secondary schools across SD43. The bins will be divided into refundables, waste, organics, and mixed recyclables.

The goal of this program is to reduce the amount of recycling in the garbage by 25% in four years. The aim is also to have consistency within the program, so that children in kindergarten will have the same recycling program until they graduate. The program will be similar to how we recycle here in Port Coquitlam, except it will be larger-scale and effect schools only. There will be a new bin system once this program comes into effect; refundables will be in grey bins; waste in black bins; organics in green bins; and mixed recyclables in blue bins.

Some schools already had individual programs in place, but they’ve struggled to be consistent with each other. So, a district-wide program was developed, which will lead to savings, but will also help the environment. Mr. JJ Hyde, Riverside Secondary’s Vice Principal, who is in charge of the overview of this program at Riverside, commented that SD43 needed to connect to the communities. “Most of the municipalities that encompass SD43, such as Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, and Coquitlam, have much better recycling programs in place, so we needed to get in line with the same level of recycling as our communities,” said Hyde.

The students have an important role in this program. “The student’s role is to take an extra four steps and to think about which bin they’re putting stuff in. This program is about thinking green and then taking the four steps and acting green,” Hyde said.

Mr. Craig Rietchel, who used to teach at Riverside and is now a district consultant, is one of the people in charge of the implementation of this program district-wide. Rietchel says that it’s our duty to reduce the volume of products going into landfills around our community. “By recycling correctly, we allow organizations to convert recycled materials into re-manufactured products that can be used around the world,” Rietchel said.

With this program in place, we’ll be keeping as much waste out of the landfill as possible. This new bin system may seem daunting at first, but it will be helping the environment, which will be worth it in the end.