RCBC Environmental Awards 2019

Each year the Recycling Council of B.C. recognizes the valuable contribution that individuals and organizations make towards the preservation and protection of British Columbia's environment.

Media Release--Winners Announced for the 2019 RCBC Environmental Awards

The 2019 awards were presented at the 2019 RCBC Conference on May 9, 2019 in Whistler, BC. Congratulations to all the award winners - Nominations for the 2020 Awards will open early next year.

Sea to Sky Removal

  • Private Sector: Organizations or their employees with outstanding initiatives to preserve and protect our environment. 
  • 2019 Recipient: Sea to Sky Removal

Since 2016, Sea to Sky Removal has been working to reduce or eliminate the amount of construction waste being sent to landfills. They have pioneered a system of on-site recycling stations so that recyclable materials can be source-separated at the construction site, and provide training to staff on site. Their process ensures that materials can be recycled or reused to their greatest capacity, and reduces the volume of material that is sent to landfill. In 2018, they moved 1,796,360 pounds of material and diverted 1,152,790 pounds of that material from landfills. A Certified B-Corporation, Sea to Sky Removal is dedicated to using their business as a force for good, and to meeting the highest standards of social and environmental performance. 

Metro Vancouver Think Thrice

Metro Vancouver launched the Think Thrice About Your Clothes Campaign in February 2019 as part of a multi-year communication, awareness, and behavior-change campaign. The goal of the campaign is to introduce residents to circular economy principles by encouraging them to reduce, repair, and reuse their clothing. The campaign encourages residents to “Reduce, repair, reuse your clothes to minimize waste” and provides resources on how to choose better quality items, repair damaged clothing, and options for reuse and repurposing of unwanted clothing. Campaign messaging has been delivered through a number of formats, including in movie theatres, online banners, through in-person engagement, and their campaign website www.clothesarentgarbage.ca. 

FoodMesh Exchange

  • Innovation Award: Individual or company that achieves an outstanding technical accomplishment in design or development of a product or process that improves its sustainability or advances zero waste practices.
  • 2019 Recipient: FoodMesh Exchange Network

The FoodMesh Food Recovery Program was launched in 2018 in partnership with the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the Fraser Valley Regional District, and Save-On-Foods. Since its launch, FoodMesh has helped divert 100% of unsold perishables from participating Save-On-Foods stores away from waste streams. Since its launch in Chilliwack the program has expanded to Kelowna, with plans to expand throughout the province. The food is separated by the retailer into bins denoting edible and in edible product, and safely directed to local charities, farmers, and composters. The food recovery program has provided more than 200,000 meals for BC food insecure residents, and more than 26,000kg of free animal feed to 110 BC small and medium sized farmers.  

 Departure Bay Eco School

The Departure Bay Eco School has been a designated Eco School for 4 years. Their curriculum focusses on nature based learning, including principles of waste management and energy conservation. The school has made strides in reducing the amount of classroom waste that they produce by focusing on diversion of paper, plastics, aluminum, and organic wastes. They held a school-wide waste challenge in October, as well as a school-wide beach clean-up event in September. The school emphasizes the development of environmental literacy, and encourages students and their families to take steps towards integrating environmental sustainability into their everyday lives. 

  • Youth Achievement Award: Youth who demonstrates outstanding commitment and leadership in environmental stewardship. 
  • 2019 Recipient: Stephanie Quon

Stephanie Quon is the founder of Sprout-Save-Share, a youth-led environmental organization with the goal of reducing waste and promoting youth environmentalism. Their projects include diversion of end-of-day food for donation to the First Nation’s Housing Society, and distribution of reusable straws to promote avoidance of single use plastics.  She is the co-chair of the Vancouver School Board Sustainability Conference, a student-led event targeted to high school students. The conference includes a full day program of speakers and workshops for over 200 annual attendees. Stephanie has also led her school’s environmental club for more than 4 years, and has consistently advocated for a greater focus on sustainability in her school. This has included contributing to the creation of a school garden, a Meatless Monday program in the school cafeteria, and recycling programs like a battery recycling initiative that collected more than 600 batteries. 

Ministry of Environment Climate Change Strategy

  • Public Sector Award for Environmental Leadership: Awarded to an individual/organization who has made significant lasting contributions to the protection and stewardship of British Columbia's environment.
  • 2019 Recipient: Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy

This award is in recognition of the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy's continued leadership in Extended Producer Responsibility policy and legislation in Canada over the last quarter century. Those initial acts here in BC in 1994, facilitated a 25 year process that established Canada’s first full EPR programs. Since then, BC’s Ministry of Environment & Climate Change Strategy continued to lead Canada’s move towards EPR, with the Recycling Regulation in 2004, legislation that can be more easily amended through orders in council, to add products as schedules. It is now cited as an example for other jurisdictions to follow. 

We thank all those who submitted their organizations for consideration. We congratulate all the recipients and nominees for their contributions to environmental stewardship in British Columbia.

RCBC 2019 Award Winners

In Memoriam: Mike Hennessy

Mike Hennessy

At the awards ceremony, RCBC remembered Mike Hennessy, former Executive Director of Tire Stewardship BC. Mike first got involved in the recycling business in 1990 as a consultant to the Ministry of Environment, when he helped launch the first tire recycling program in Canada. Mike was the recipient of a RCBC Personal Achievement award in 2013 for outstanding personal commitment to environmental stewardship. He would be pleased to know that so many others are continuing that work.

View Past Winners 2006-2018

RCBC Awards Over the Years
The RCBC Awards over the years...