The Province has officially proclaimed October 17-23 as Waste Reduction Week, which is aimed at raising public awareness about the importance of recycling.

“Waste Reduction Week gets people thinking about what they can do reduce the amount of waste going into our landfills,” said Naomi Yamamoto, MLA for North Vancouver-Lonsdale. “Recycling, composting and educational programs all go a long way in making a big difference for our environment.”

“Organizations like North Shore Recycling do a fantastic job of providing people in North Vancouver with a wide array of solutions for reducing waste,” said Jane Thornthwaite, MLA for North Vancouver-Seymour. “Their efforts help teach our community just how easy it really is to reduce what ends up in our landfills.”

British Columbia is a worldwide leader in Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Programs where producers of products take 100 per cent responsibility for the life cycle management of their products, including collection and recycling. Programs range from automobile antifreeze to cell phones, lead acid batteries to small appliances and lights.

B.C.’s latest EPR program is the Small Appliances Recycling Program administered by the Canadian Electrical Stewardship Association. As of Oct. 1, small appliances such as toasters, coffee makers and vacuums can be returned and recycled for free to authorized drop-off locations to be managed responsibly by industry. The program is the largest of its kind to date in B.C. and the first of its kind in North America.

In May 2011, the province regulated packaging and printed paper and by May 2014 a province-wide program for these materials is planned to be in place. Packaging and printed paper comprise approximately 25 per cent of the waste disposed in landfills.