Photo: Mazzari Tate and Jimmy Joseph do a test run of sorting waste as they prepare for opening day for the community.
Credit: Kaila Pidwerbeski

 

Ditidaht Community School students and teacher Kaila Pidwerbeski have set up the community’s first recycling centre, with help from Synergy Foundation.

Without an established recycling program, Nitinaht, a community of 200 located on the west coast of the Cowichan Valley Regional District, was sending all its waste to the landfill, approximately 110 tonnes per year! Ditidat Community School teacher Kaila Pidwerbeski saw an opportunity to divert recyclables from the landfill, while engaging her students in a project they can truly feel proud of.

“The process of planning a recycling depot and then making it a reality has been an incredible journey,” says Pidwerbeski. “As students learned about over-consumption on a mass scale, throw away culture, and the detrimental effects of such on the environment, I could literally see the concern growing in their eyes. I think it is important that, when teaching such subject matter, students are not left in a state of doom and gloom. Arming students with a consciousness of their ability to make positive change is tremendously powerful and probably the best chance we have at truly turning things around for the better.”

Pidwerbeski reached out to Vancouver Island-based non-profit, Synergy Foundation, for help to make this dream a reality. After months of collaboration, the student-run recycling centre opened on school property in June 2021. Click here to read the full news release.

“We were delighted to work with Ditidaht Community School to help them create a program that both reduces waste and engages youth in a meaningful project. We hope we can take these lessons learned and support other remote and indigenous communities in waste management and circular economy opportunities in the years to come” – Jill Doucette, Executive Director, Synergy Foundation

Economic Development Cowichan (EDC) is looking to build on the momentum around a shift to a circular economy. Following our successful Lunch n’ Learn held in partnership with Synergy Foundation this past January, EDC is planning a series of circular economy workshops to delve deeper into this topic. We will look to provide actionable information to help local businesses and community organizations launch or expand their circular economy practices to increase sustainability and resiliency. Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter to be notified when the workshops are announced.

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Photo: Leon Jr. Edgar helps get the recycling depot set up for opening day.
Credit: Kaila Pidwerbeski

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135 Third Street
Duncan, BC
Canada V9L 1R9
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T 250.746.7880
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Economic
Development
Cowichan

Economic
Development
Cowichan

135 Third Street
Duncan, BC
Canada V9L 1R9
[email protected]
T 250.746.7880
TF 1.866.746.2508