Firefighters love their red trucks, but in the Township they're going green.
A program designed to reduce waste and encourage recycling has been implemented by Langley Township firefighters, who are doing their part to look after the world we live in.
The Responsible Program, Langley Township's corporate initiative to cut down on waste as an organization, has been introduced at all seven fire halls to make it easier for staff to recycle at work.
"When we're not fighting fires and saving lives, we are recycling," joked Capt. Scott Brewer.
Brewer worked in the garbage industry for 10 years and was eager to apply his knowledge of waste and recycling to all areas of his life - including his new job at Fire Hall #6 in Murrayville. When he joined the Fire Service several years ago, he was adamant about recycling at work and put in a makeshift program for staff.
In 2012, the program was expanded by the Township's Engineering Division with help from District Fire Chief Kevin Anderson. Now the full-scale Responsible Program has firefighters and administrative staff recycling containers, paper, food scraps, batteries, and light bulbs at all fire halls.
Brewer said a lot of the firefighters are passionate about the program because their children are learning about the importance of recycling at school and as their parents they want to set a good example for their kids - and for the community.
"I feel like I'm doing my part for the environment, but it's also part of our chore list," said firefighter Jeremy Buck, noting that recycling is included in each shift's list of responsibilities.
According to firefighter Sean Lakeman, garbage cans inside Fire Hall #6 are half the size they used to be, yet staff are now producing half a bag of garbage a day - rather than the previous three to four.
Fire crews are also incorporating recycling into their fundraisers and charity events: "We are always looking for a way to pass it on because it is so easy to do once you get the hang of it," said Buck.
The Responsible Program is also in place at the Township's Civic Facility, Operations Centre, and recreation and community centres.
"As a corporation, we are dedicated to reducing the waste we generate, and we hold ourselves responsible," said Township Solid Waste Coordinator Tess Rutley. "All of our facilities are a part of the Responsible Program. It only makes sense: if we are asking the public to recycle and do their part, we have to do ours."
Langley Township's internal recycling program asks staff to reduce waste, reuse what they can, and recycle whenever and wherever possible. The program also complements Metro Vancouver's new Solid Waste Management Plan.
Simple, easy to implement environmental changes that have been made by the Township and can be practiced in most work environments include printing on recycled paper, composting food scraps, reducing waste output, and recycling everything from paper, containers, and batteries to light bulbs, styrofoam, and soft plastics.
@ Copyright 2013