To Mayor Basran & Kelowna City Council:
Kelowna City Council is in the process of passing changes to a bylaw that would prohibit residents from donating bottles and cans to binners near a local bottle depot.
People who collect bottles and cans for a living, also known as binners on the west coast, positively contribute to our environment by diverting a considerable amount of waste from landfills. In Vancouver, a bottle depot that is frequented mostly by binners collects approximately 60,000 refundable containers per day. The vast majority of these bottles and cans are picked out of street trash cans or given to/left for binners by people who will not themselves recycle the containers.
In Vancouver, although there is still a lot to be done for this city to be more inclusive, binners’ efforts to work alongside residents are booming.
In the last two years, instead of criminalizing binners and the people who support them, City staff and council have worked with us, Binners’ Project, to support the development of binner-designed programs, such as the “Binners Hook”, which residents and business install in their alleyway to clearly indicate bottles and cans they have put aside for binners. We are also developing a fleet of purpose-built carts that will improve binners’ efficiency, earning potential, and safety on the job, while reducing reliance on discarded carts.
People who bin are among the most marginalized in our communities, experiencing a range of issues that lock in marginalization, poverty, housing insecurity, and political invisibility. They are hard-working people making a sincere effort to contribute to their communities and earn a living legally and safely. Their efforts should be commended not criminalized.
Anna Godefroy, Executive Director of Binners’ Project
Today, around the world, waste pickers and the the groups that work with them are celebrating International Waste Pickers’ Day.
It’s a moment to celebrate the work of our very own waste pickers – or binners – and to come together to promote the remuneration of their work in cleaning up our streets and diverting waste from landfills.
There are three things you can do to help recognize binners today:
From all of us at Binners’ Project: Happy International Waste Pickers’ Day!
Happy New Year from all of us here at Binners’ Project!
Thank you to all of you who continue to support the work we do with binners and generating income opportunities and a special thanks to those who gave generously in support of these meetings (above) and our work with binners.
As we settle into the new year, we’re hopeful we can count on your business and referrals! This helps us build the capacity of our members and provide stability in their life.
Below is an overview of the services we offer residential, commercial, office-based, and event managing clients -- contact Gabby at any point with questions or to get a quote.
Anna, Davin, and Bertha
Contact Gabby for quotes or to ask questions and share leads.
I hope you’re all well and gearing up for warm and happy holidays!
We’re wrapping up a tremendous year at Binners’ Project, and before we say goodbye to 2017, I wanted to make sure that you all got a glimpse of what we’ve achieved.
We secured dignified, fairly compensated income opportunities for 84 binners this year.
Thanks to our members, dozens of events, buildings, and businesses hit – and in the case of the Fair at the PNE even exceed – waste-diversion targets. On top of great environmental outcomes, binners’ recycling expertise and work ethic was demonstrated to tens of thousands of people across the Lower Mainland.
But binners weren’t just seen, they were heard too.
As with any expert or consultant, we compensated binners for their time, preparation, and participation as they presented or were consulted 42 times across the Lower Mainland and in places like Ontario and Manitoba. Our members spoke publicly on homelessness, zero-waste policies, alley design, social procurement, social hiring, and much more, ultimately engaging face-to-face with every level of government. Even the recent Governor General and his wife heard firsthand from us about binning and binners’ vision for the future.
Speaking of the future, I’m happy to share that the cart share program we’ve been quietly working on for almost two years is close to becoming a reality. Though many details are still being finalized, thanks to some intrepid journalism at MetroNews, the secret is out! (The big reveal will happen in 2018, but if you can’t wait that long for the scoop, there is some info on the website.)
As the social enterprise and our membership continue to grow, we’re hoping you’ll make a donation to support us.
Just $5 covers the cost of a binners’ participation in the weekly binners’ meeting – the first step to connecting them with safer, more fairly compensated income opportunities. With $22 you cover their participation expenses for the month, and $250 you’d cover one binner's participation for the whole year.
I’m proud of how much we do with so little and I know that if you join us as a Binners’ Project donor, you will be too!
To help us start 2018 off right, please give what you can here:
With sincere thanks,
Anna & the team
My name is Gabby, I’m the Programs Manager at Binners’ Project. I work at the Binners’ Project on the business side of things and spend a lot of time tracking our environmental and social impacts.
All that to say - I’m pleased to be sharing the official results of Monday’s Coffee Cup Revolution.
Even though it rained non-stop, we had another record-breaking year!
Here’s the full scoop:
None of this would have been possible without the support of our sponsoring partners - listed below - many of whom support the CCR or the Binners’ Project on an on-going basis. We’re tremendously grateful for their support and look forward to working with them and others to deliver even better results next year, on the fifth anniversary of the event.
Media coverage was as solid as ever with at least 5 news outlets picking up our story.
The Coffee Cup Revolution is yet another example of the hard, thoughtful work binners do year round through our event services and back-of-house sorting.
If you have an event coming up, or have a waste room in your building that is overflowing, incurring fines, or simply not hitting your waste-diversion targets, please contact us to discuss how our environmentally and socially conscious services can work for you.
We’re proud to work with places like Science World, SFU, Vancity, and others to deliver exceptional waste education and management services year-round, and we’d love the chance to show you and your business or building what we are capable of. To learn more about our services online, click here, or feel free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks again to all who supported this event through sponsorship, attendance, and by spreading the word - we appreciate your involvement and look forward to championing an even greener, more inclusive city with you again in 2019!
October 12, 2017 Vancouver, BC - Media are encouraged to attend the Binners’ Project fourth annual Coffee Cup Revolution on October 16th from 11:00am-2:00pm in Victory Square Park.
“Coffee cups can be difficult to recycle, and often end up in landfills as a result,” says Davin Boutang, binner and Outreach Coordinator for the Binners’ Project. “When you’re binning, you see them everywhere. Binners are doing great work collecting bottles and cans and keeping them out of the landfill. We can do that with coffee cups too.”
At 11:00 am, a team of binners led by Boutang will open a depot in the park where binners can return coffee cups for five cents a cup, up to 400 cups each per visit (multiple visits permitted). The event demonstrates how a refund system could work for these single-use items. The depot closes at 4:00 pm.
Last year, the event set new records, with over 300 binners participating and more than 49,000 cups refunded and recycled. This year will likely see more record-breaking line-ups and refunds as the popularity of the event increases, and with the City of Vancouver currently considering a coffee cup refund system.
“A refund system is a win-win situation,” says Anna Godefroy, Binners’ Project Director. “Treating coffee cups as we do bottles and cans will discourage people from throwing them out and, where that fails, incentivize binners to help divert this large amount of waste from Vancouver landfills.”
While the depot is running, city planners, local businesses and organizations, and residents and members of the public will participate in a series of roundtable discussions. This year, discussion topics include strategies to reduce the presence of single use items in landfills, as well as broader issues related to green, inclusive economies, such as corporate social responsibility and social hiring.
The depot and event are open to the public and free to all, thanks to the support of BC Housing, SFU Vancity’s Office of Community Engagement, the City of Vancouver, and various other local businesses, foundations, and organizations sponsoring the event.
11:00 am -- Depot opens
11:30 am -- Roundtables begin
1:30 pm -- Roundtables end
2:00 pm -- Depot closes
For more details on this year’s Coffee Cup Revolution, visit: https://www.binnersproject.org/coffee-cup-revolution.html
To register for the roundtable discussions, visit: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/the-coffee-cup-revolution-roundtable-discussions-tickets-36615701549
To view the City of Vancouver consultation paper mentioned above, visit:
Download the consultation paper
The City of Vancouver is aiming to decrease coffee cup and other waste by 50% in five years, and wants Vancouver residents, businesses and organizations to weigh in on whether they would be open to a coffee cup refund system, among other options, to help get there.
As a part of their Single Use Item Reduction Strategy, the City released a consultation paper that explains an estimated 2.6 million hot and cold paper beverage cups are disposed of as garbage each week in Vancouver.
A coffee cup refund system, whereby consumers would pay a deposit that will be refunded when the cup is returned for recycling, is one of the proposed solutions to this waste problem.
Binners, people who supplement their income looking for refundable recyclables, have been saying for years that they would welcome the light-weight addition to their trips to the bottle depot.
The City is asking for your feedback by December 15th on how to move forward with reducing single-use items in Vancouver landfills. According to the website, here’s how you can contribute to the process:
453 West 12th Avenue
Additionally, the City will host a series of roundtable discussions in the fall with interested stakeholders. These meetings will review the information contained in the consultation paper.
If you are interested in participating in a meeting, please email the City at: email@example.com
Although a refund system is ultimately a decision made by the Provincial Government, without the City's support it is unlikely to gain the momentum it needs to become a reality. As such, we encourage everyone to provide their feedback to the City.
Lastly, stay engaged with the conversation around a refund system for coffee cups by attending the Coffee Cup Revolution in Victory Square Park on October 16th - click here to register and to find out more about the event.
Search for musical instruments – in partnership with Instruments of Change Charity – Vancouver, Sept 2016 – Photo series by Lani Brunn
On September 10, 2015, the Coffee Cup Revolution took place for the second consecutive year in Vancouver’s Victory Square, Vancouver.
Over 130 binners collected coffee cups from around the Lower Mainland for a 5-cent refund. Over 31,000 cups were diverted from the landfill.