10: Over the course of the next few days, we're counting back and bringing you the top 10 new stories of the year for this community.
This year marked 40 years of recycling in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.
It was 1972 when a group of environmentally conscious citizens, led by Dave and Julie Koehn, and joined by Bob Cordoni, Bill Archibald, Beryl Cunningham, and Candace Gordon, began the effort.
Dave and Julie were members of SPEC (Society Promoting Environmental Conservation). Fellow SPEC member Cordoni came back from an Earth Day event, excited about this "new" idea of recycling.
"Everybody latched onto it," explained Dave and Julie's daughter Leanne Koehn, who provides communications with the society. "My parents really appreciated it, because a lot of the environmentalists at the time were against things that were being posed on the environment."
The society's beginnings were humble to say the least, originally operating out of a backyard shed at the Koehns' home in Hammond.
The society was run entirely by volunteers and its first curbside pickup truck was a second-hand, rickety cube van that had a tendency to stall.
The couple saw recycling as something they could be proactive about, get involved in, and make a positive change.
From the shed, the society moved to the first recycling depot (a.k.a., a bunch of sheds) set up next to the Cottonwood landfill site, (a.k.a. the Maple Ridge dump).
The current depot at 10092 236th St. was custom-designed and built through federal grant money in 1990.
It was strategically placed next to the Maple Ridge garbage transfer station to encourage waste diversion.
To celebrate four decades at the Ridge Meadows Recycling Society, the recycling depot in Albion partnered with the TIMES
to find 40 people under the age
of 40 who were involved in sustainable initiatives - from recycling to cycling. On Oct.
23, they were recognized in a special TIMES feature and by
Maple Ridge council for their work for the environment.
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