Canadian Tire teams up with Williams Lake recycling stewards

For the third year in a row Canadian Tire in Williams Lake is teaming up with different recycling stewards.

For the third year in a row Canadian Tire in Williams Lake is teaming up with different recycling stewards to accept a plethora of goods during an all-day recycling event on May 12.

Billed as Reduce Your Footprint, store manager and organizer Brian Stefan says stewards will be accepting tires, electronics, and small appliances.

Canadian Tire normally accepts a long list of items for recycling — including glass, oil, batteries, and florescent bulbs — so those bins will also be waiting and ready.

Glass goes across the road to United Concrete where it is recycled.

“I’m anticipating the number of items we’ll receive to be off the charts,” Stefan says, adding since its inception the event has grown every year.

New partners for 2012 are Speedy Glass and Williams Lake Daybreak Rotary Club.

Speedy Glass will fix rock-chipped windshields on-site and Rotary will accept used books.

As in the past, Big Brothers and Big Sisters will accept soft goods, while Bee Line Courier will collect the electronics and small appliances.

Those can be anything from faxes, computers, scanners and cameras to personal audio equipment.

“You know those old rear-projection TVs that were the size of a small vehicle. We saw some of those come back last year. They’re so heavy, people don’t know what to do with them,” Stefan explains.

Bee Line will also take toasters, irons and kettles.

“We know that those kinds of items are not being diverted. They are just going to the landfill,” Stefan says.

Central Cariboo Disposal will collect used paint, stains and spray cans.

In past years people have attended and spoken with stewards based in Williams Lake and learned recycling information they weren’t aware of.

“They may have thought things were to go in the garbage, and did not realize they were recyclable,” Stefan says, adding the information learned during the day goes back to people’s families and neighbourhoods.

Three years ago, Stefan won a write-in contest through Tire Stewardship BC that resulted in the society bringing a 53-foot trailer and two employees to Williams Lake.

They’ve been returning ever since to haul tires to Vancouver where they are recycled to make items such as athletic tracks, playground surfaces, commercial flooring and coloured mulch.

Canadian Tire’s own community program Jumpstart — which provides local children with registration fees for recreation programs — will accept donations of beverage bottles that day too.

Describing himself as merely the conduit that brings groups together, Stefan says what makes the event successful is the community’s participation.

Recycling creates employment in Williams Lake and if there was more recycling there’d be more jobs in the community.

Looking to the future, he hopes Williams Lake gets put on the map as a place that has a high percentage of the population recycling.

“Obviously a larger city will generate more gross tonnage of recycling, but maybe on a percentage basis we can become a community that cares about recycling and wants to increase employment in our community and do the right thing,” Stefan suggests.

Representatives from the Cariboo Regional District and the city will also be there to participate and see the lengths that people will go to recycle, he adds.

The event runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.