SPEC is Canada’s oldest environmental organization and our mission is to provide practical solutions for urban sustainability. The Master Recycler Program is a waste reduction and prevention initiative that empowers local champions to drive change in their communities.
This year, we need community support. Unexpectedly, we learned that our traditional funding source is not available in 2021, which is why we are reaching out to you, our community, with a request for help.
About Master Recycler
Waste is an ever-increasing challenge for our communities. Master Recycler Vancouver (MRV) has been training zero waste champions since 2015. Now, due to COVID, we need your help to bridge our funding gap!
Highlights of the program's successes so far:
- Over 70 Master Recycler Graduates to date
- Over 3700 waste reduction community outreach hours
- School programs on waste reduction and a children's book in-the-works
- Zero waste / plastic reduction social media campaigns
- Spawned the “Talking Trash” radio show on Vancouver Co-op Radio (100.5FM)
- Street and shoreline cleanups
- Volunteer mobilization for waste reduction at events
- Neighbourhood education programs
And much more!
Why do we need your help?
Our program runs solely on grant funding and the generosity of Vancouver’s Zero Waste community. With the unprecedented pandemic situation and associated restrictions on in-person gatherings, the RecycleBC Community Champions funding program, our supporter since 2016, has had to go on pause. With the 2021 virtual program launching in March, we need to act fast!
The course is in demand. From the 200+ people who've expressed interest in the past five years, we had 130 people respond to our wait list confirmation for 2021, and 43 people complete the application, for only 25 spots in this year’s course!
Our momentum is only growing. In 2021 we successfully ran our first municipally funded program for New Westminster (the Royal City Recycling Champions), and our first-ever Master Recycler Conference.
We can’t stop now! We are committed to bringing the program to life in 2021 with or without funding. That said, there are hard costs to run the program and the course facilitators take on a financial burden to make it happen. We want to do whatever we can to ensure the program's sustainability while also being healthy ourselves.
Can you help us this year to fill our funding gap? :)
I really enjoyed the Master Recycler training. Emily, Dan and Eyal took their facilitator roles seriously and made every effort to make the transition to online learning as seamless as possible. Would definitely (recommend) the program!
— Rachel S. MR 2020
Where We Come From
Master Recycler Vancouver (MRV) is an adult train-the-trainer education program open to anyone in BC's Lower Mainland, designed to empower citizens to prevent and reduce waste. Our expert facilitators guide participants over 9 weeks through 20+ hours of in-class instruction with field trips (when possible!) followed by 6 to 12 month's mentorship to support them in providing 30+ hours of volunteer waste reduction and prevention outreach in their communities.
History of the program: The original "Master Recycler" program idea was started in the 1980’s in California, and inspired similar programs in Portland, Oregon, Edmonton, AB, and many other cities!
In 2014, a group of waste reduction enthusiasts at the SPEC Waste Committee decided it was high time Vancouver had its own Master Recycler program. They applied for pilot funding through Vancity and launched the program for the first time in 2015.
How we work as a non-profit: In other cities, programs like ours are typically part of the municipal budget. Not us! We've been supported over the past 6 years through grants and donations from Vancity, RecycleBC, the McLean Foundation, SPEC individual donors and the Gow-Jarrett and Millard Family.
Grant funding has enabled our program to remove financial barriers to participation and only ask for a $30 refundable deposit returned upon completion of the course requirements. The program's facilitators are awarded an honorarium for their work after operational expenses are paid, which is vital for them to do everything it takes to run the program each year.
The MRV course was full of information that was new to me and explained topics I never really took the time to figure out myself. It also provided me with guidance on HOW to make the change I want to see in the world, and how to talk to others about tough topics.
— Maddie H. MR 2020
Where else can we connect?
If you want to contact the team, or join the waitlist for future program, visit our website www.masterrecyclervancouver.ca
You can also follow us on Instagram at @masterrecyclervancouver and Twitter at @MrRecyclerVan
And, you can select a reward below that gets you a personal phone call! :)
A great certificate program for newbies and veterans alike who are passionate about waste management, business practices and social accountability for our planet! Guided by three knowledgeable, reflective, passionate and fun facilitators along with an all-star line up of guest presenters.
— Nick H. MR 2020 (2020 MRV Conference Organizer)
Discuss this project...
This comments section looks a little lonely, so here’s an idea: if you happen to come across this discussion page, you can Ask a Question from the facilitators! Curious about waste? Recycling? Reuse? How (and what) to Refuse? Our favourite zero waste self care products? Ask away! The current Master Recycler facilitators are Emily McGill (me), Daniel Rotman, and Eyal Lebel. If you don’t specify a person, any one of us might come and answer.