Ridge Meadows Recycling Society has been a thriving organization in this community for four decades, and to mark that milestone anniversary last year, The TIMES team wanted to do something special to recognize their “incredible contribution” to both the community and environment, said publisher Spencer Levan.
While providing news coverage for all of the different events, and providing profiles on a few of the founding and early members of the society around Earth Day, The TIMES focused most of its attention on the future of recycling in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows. Partnering with the depot on a “40 Under 40” campaign, we highlighted 40 young people who make significant contributions to this community’s sustainability.
That campaign paid dividends inside the newspaper industry, earning The TIMES a ranking as one of the top three in B.C. for community service by the B.C. and Yukon Community Newspaper Association.
The final placing will not be announced until April 20, but Levan congratulated both the recycling society and his TIMES team for the accolades.
The intention of this campaign was to highlight 40 local people, all 40 years or younger, who are making significant contributions to sustainability in our community and who are the up-and-coming environmental leaders.
Partnering with the society, the campaign including advertising and stories calling for nominations, as well as a series of features reminding people of the “40 Under 40” competition while profiling some of the community’s environmentalists who are over the age of 40 who play an important role in recycling. The print package culminated with a feature package on Oct. 23 (during Waste Reduction Week) featuring each one of the 40 winners with picture and brief biography, as well as more stories about the next generation of recyclers.
“Partnering with The TIMES made this project a reality. While our founders, 40 years ago, started a movement that transformed the way we deal with waste, we now needed to identify and inspire the next generation of environmental leaders to help achieve the society’s goal of zero waste,” said recycling spokesperson Leanne Koehn, daughter of the society’s two founding members.
“By highlighting and honouring local residents taking action in different fields – water, energy, and nature conservation; recycling and waste reduction efforts; local food and permaculture; visual and musical artists; and green business initiatives – The TIMES not only showed ways local residents can do more for the earth, they helped identify and support those advocates that will bring about the next wave of environmental change,” she explained.
“Through the years, this paper has covered many of the environmental stories and issues that affect residents of this community. They have helped our society promote new programs, initiatives, and changes and are a valuable part of our local media,” Koehn said.
“We remain grateful for this opportunity to partner with the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows TIMES and look forward to our next project together.”
There were more than 2,000 entries in the provincial newspaper awards known as the Ma Murray Community Newspaper Awards.
Levan said “community” is the key word in this, and he and the team have been proud to serve this community for more than a quarter century and he’s looking forward to continuing that work.