Building community with recycling: a case study of two small islands in British Columbia, Canada




Taylor, Emma

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Waste management strategies that focus on reduction, reuse and recycling have an immediate environmental impact through diverting waste from landfills and conserving natural resources. Although recycling is practiced in many cities around the world and especially in developed countries, little attention has been paid to the challenges associated with it in small island communities. Furthermore, research has focused predominantly on waste management practices carried out by local governments and private corporations rather than by non-profit community groups. This thesis examines the assets and barriers of community-based recycling operations on Mayne and Hornby Islands in British Columbia, Canada. The study develops a methodological framework for assessing community-based recycling and utilizes qualitative research tools to achieve the research objectives. Theoretical pillars of social economy, community-building and environmental education are examined in this case study. The research purports that the community recycling groups are central to building social capital and inculcating environmental awareness on the islands as well as to contributing to the wider social economy network. Co-management partnerships between the community recycling groups and local government allow for increased local engagement and participation in resource recovery.



Geography, waste, development, social economy, environmental education