Forty people, all under the age of 40, were feted on Tuesday afternoon, culminating with applause from Maple Ridge mayor and council for their efforts to recycle and protect the environment.
The Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows TIMES and the Ridge Meadows Recycling Society launched the campaign this summer to find 40 people who are making an effort to live sustainably, recycle, and work towards keeping the planet healthy.
The Top 40 Under 40 Community Environmental Leaders included kids as young as five who recycle, cycle, and look after the planet in their own way, to young adults who are practising small-lot farming and permaculture, to business people whose enterprises help keep the environment healthy and clean.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Top 40 Under 40 were invited on a tour of the recycling depot, where the society's Daniel Mikolay, who does a lot of public education about recycling for the society, explained how items get recycled - from tin cans, milk cartons, and newspaper to old bicycles and paint.
After the tour, the award winners were invited to meet Maple Ridge mayor and council, and Leanne Koehn with the recycling society gave a presentation at the council meeting on the campaign and why these people were chosen.
Koehn also challenged her audience to take recycling seriously.
"Everybody has the potential to become an environmental leader," she said.
Koehn explained how the board of the recycling society is always trying to find new ways to recycle.
The latest initiative is to recycle styrofoam, which can be dropped off at the depot for a $2 charge.
After Koehn's presentation, Maple Ridge Mayor Ernie Daykin thanked The TIMES for its part in the campaign, calling the newspaper a "good corporate citizen." (The Oct. 23 TIMES featured the 40 environmental leaders.)