On November 6, a daughter and son lost their beloved mother and family, friends and colleagues lost a kindred spirit, and British Columbia lost the conscience of its conflicted recycling system.
For 30 years, Ann Johnston was the matriarch of the environment-focused recycling community in B.C. and the main force driving the Mayne Island Recycling Society, tirelessly campaigning for the recycling rights of residents of her home island and the other Southern Gulf Islands. She advocated for a provincial recycling system that was fair for all citizens, living in rural or urban areas, and for a framework that didn’t lose sight of its primary objective: a healthy, productive, beautiful natural environment. In conversations with politicians and government staff, managers of B.C.’s recycling programs, and businesses operators who produced materials that ultimately became recyclables, she always reminded them that a robust environment was the priority. She held up the B.C. Ministry of Environment’s 5R pollution prevention hierarchy in front all of these individuals, demanding that the order be adhered to: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle . . . (https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/waste-management/zero-waste). She repeatedly said to me: “At every turn, our message must emphasize this fundamental principle.”
Ann was a wonderful teacher (her profession earlier in life). Her voice was loud and clear, and her message was always intelligently thought out and logically presented. Very little escaped her scrutiny.
As a true champion of the environment, it was fitting that Ann passed way after attending a morning meeting of the Mayne Island Nature Conservancy. She will be truly missed by her Southern Gulf Islands recycling family: all of us who knew her, worked with her, loved her. We promise, Ann, to continue fighting to achieve your goals.
Ann Johnston was four months shy of her 90th birthday.
Pender Island Recycling Society would like to recognize the generosity of the Royal Canadian Legion on Pender for their donation to the society. We assure you that the money given will be used wisely.
The Recycling Depot will be closed on Tuesday, December 26 (Boxing Day). The Depot will reopen the following Saturday and Sunday, two of the busiest recycling days of the year. We kindly ask, if you’re able, to delay your post-holiday visit to the Depot for a few weeks until traffic to and through the Depot slows to normal numbers; or, if you must visit the Depot immediately following Christmas, plan to arrive midway through our operating hours to steer clear of the busy first and last hour. And please remember that gift-wrap bows and ribbon are not recyclable; but they are reusable.
The board of directors and staff of the Pender Island Recycling Society would like to extend our very best wishes to you and your family during the upcoming holiday season. We sincerely thank you for your ongoing support of your community-owned and operated Recycling Depot. We look forward to seeing you during the holidays, and in the beginning days of the New Year.