It takes a community to keep a village clean and green, and businesses and residents in Fort Langley have joined forces with the Township of Langley to keep recyclables out of the landfill.
A dozen black garbage cans, outfitted with special recycling trays to hold used bottles and cans, have been placed throughout the village, thanks to the success of a pilot project and the offer of a local businesswoman.
Mary Martini of Starline Windows had approached the Township offering to pay for on-street recycling trays in the village. The idea was presented to the Fort Langley BIA, which agreed to support a pilot project.
For 13 weeks, 13 temporary recycling containers were put out beside garbage cans. During that time, 7,480 refundable beverage containers were collected by community members and diverted from the garbage dump, without any additional administration or operating costs to the Township.
Based on that success, permanent garbage bins have been fitted with custom-made beverage container recycling racks paid for by Starline.
Three new blue recycling bins have also been placed in high traffic areas and are clearly marked with internationally recognized recycling logos to distinguish them from the garbage cans.
Township engineering operations superintendent Phil Banton said that the program is self-sufficient, as it does not require staff time or public resources to collect and recycle the containers.
The recyclables are collected by people within the community, he added.
In the past, Fort Langley residents and merchants counted on long-time resident Dallas Evans to collect their recyclables. Evans died in 2008, but others have been collecting the containers, bringing them to a recycling facility.
The Township is also installing recycling collection racks donated by Starline in local parks, and is looking at following the success of the Fort Langley on-street recycling project with similar options in other communities.