Brian Foster, who works at the Waste Reduction transfer site near Oxford Mills, was becoming concerned over the amount of beer cans and wine bottles being dropped off at the site for recycling. He was seeing an increase in this due to Covid, and people not being able to drop off their returns at the Beer Store.
And when the store started accepting them again, there were line ups, and people just got frustrated and decided to drop them off at the waste site instead.
One day, when he was talking to someone from the board of the Kemptville Youth Centre [KYC], he asked her if perhaps she would know what could be done with these returns, rather than seeing them dumped at the site. She suggested that he contact the KYC, and maybe they could gather a group of volunteers to collect them, as a way to raise money for the Centre.
Bruce Wehlau, President of the KYC board, was contacted and he gathered up a group of volunteers, went to the site and collected, in one run, 1,680 cans, which transferred into $167.00 for the Youth Centre. They have so far, after six visits, raised a total of $600.
The work is labour-intensive. All cans need to be crushed before being returned to the Beer Store, which asks people dropping off cans to crush them first. This, understandably, makes their task easier.
There were only three people collecting when I went to the transfer station to cover the story. So, you can image the hours it would take for them to crush all the cans. The other option is to purchase a can crusher. The cans are an unexpected source of revenue for the KYC, but the board ask that you do not leave your returns at the Youth Centre itself. Brian Foster has put up a sign directing people where their bottles and cans can be dropped off beside the recycle bins at the transfer station.
This project is not only helping the KYC, but also ties in nicely with the Municipality’s recycling project and then, in turn, with Ewaste.
So it takes just one person, and this being Brian, to actually care enough about the community and come up with a solution. This is what North Grenville is all about.