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British Columbia School Pioneers Electronic Toy Recycling


While most kids were thinking about the new toys and gadgets they want for Christmas, students at John Knox Christian School in Burnaby, British Columbia, searched their closets for electronics they were ready to part with.

The school is the first in Canada to pilot a project for recycling electronic toys, from old gaming devices to broken remote-control vehicles and talking stuffed animals that children have outgrown.

John Knox is partnering with Genesis Recycling Ltd. in Langley after being recommended to the company by staff at Burnaby City Hall for its inaugural venture into electronic toy recycling. City staff had been impressed by the school’s involvement in a previous pilot project for composting food scraps at the school and by its eagerness to be involved in environmental stewardship.

The school is closely associated with New Westminster Christian Reformed Church across the street; many of its students and teachers attend that church or other nearby Christian Reformed churches.

Last month Yvonne DeWith and her grade 3 class had the opportunity to tour the Genesis plant and see firsthand how toys are dismantled and sorted into various components that are reused or recycled.

“As a school, we were delighted to be able to collaborate with the City of Burnaby and with Genesis Recycling to further teach our students about the value of caring for our environment through real-life examples,” said DeWith.

Student Seth Visser of New Westminster CRC said, “The recycling program changed my perspective and made me think about what will last and what will break down.”

Classmate Flora Wong added, “I learned I should not just get toys that wear out because the stores just want you to pay more money.”

“I think other schools should also do the electronic toy program because it takes care of God’s creation and it keeps toys out of the landfill so everyone can live a better life,” concluded their friend Samuel Lukas.

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