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Richmond News: Earth Day fever takes over Richmond

By Michelle Hopkins, Richmond News

April 19th, 2012 – This Sunday, citizens and corporations around the world will commemorate Earth Day by promoting environmental protection and sustainability. But, Richmond’s Developmental Disabilities Association(DDA) has been in the business of being “green” long before it was fashionable — more than three decades.

“Through our 300 donation bins and residential pickups we raise more than six million pounds of recyclable items annually,” said Deanna Barlow, DDA director of the business centre. “This is significant as we have prevented these donations from going into the landfill.”

“We recycle all paper and cardboard items through in-house recycling program at all our sites. We also recycle scrap metal, computers, monitors and televisions at our Donation Station (2643 No. 5 Road).” DDA also practices what it preaches in its office.

The nonprofit organization encourages staff to share resources internally. They also print all brochures and publications using post-consumer recycled content, and its donation bags are made of biodegradable products.

The DDA will accept donations of beverage containers, small appliances and electronics, clothing and nonperishable food items on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Regional Recycling, 13300 Vulcan Way.

All the funds raised will benefit the more than 50 programs and sites for people with developmental disabilities that DDA runs. For more information, visit www.regionalrecycling.ca. Meanwhile, Grade 7 students from five local elementary schools are also doing their part.

To commemorate the Richmond Earth Day Youth (REaDY) Summit and Earth Day 2012, students planted four to five trees as part of its Graduation Grove program. In addition to the Graduation Groves, a special Earth Day grove will be planted at Steveston-London Secondary School as part of the REaDY Summit.

The five schools will be honoured at the REaDY Summit at London-Steveston Secondary School on Saturday, April 21 and at the Richmond Earth Day Celebration at King George Park on Sunday, April 22.

The City of Richmond will also partake in the King George celebrations, partnering with the East Richmond Community Association. Residents are invited to come and spend the day (10 a.m. to 1:30
p.m.) taking part in a variety of different activities, such as cleaning up the park, planting trees and shrubs, removing invasive plants, as well as help build the new natural playground at Cambie Community Centre.

“The city started hosting Earth Day events back in 2006 at Terra Nova,” said Paul Brar, coordinator, Parks Programs for the city. “We already have more than 250 people signed up and we expect more to drop in… we are telling people to dress to get earthy, the day is designed to get dirt in your fingers.”

Brar said he encourages participants to come for the 10 a.m. orientation and stay for the appreciation barbecue, beginning at 12:45 p.m. “It’s a great way to connect with the community and do something good for the environment.”

East Richmond residents who want to participate Sunday are encourage to sign up to make sure there’s enough food for the volunteer lunch at 12:45 p.m. For more information, call Tatiana Micenko at 604-233-8372 or email at tmicenko@richmong.ca.

2011 DDA recycling stats
– More than six million pounds of cloth items
– 1,473,017 pounds of houseware
– More than 400,000 cans/bottles
Milestones: 32 years of recycling more than six million pounds of goods annually, a decade of
operating successful clothing, book and bottle bin program.

Original article can be found here.