Recycling depot collects winter donations

A Vancouver man who works at a recycling depot and helps binners exchange the bottles and cans they collect each day is hoping to keep people a little warmer this winter.

Jason Smith, general manager at Regional Recycling Vancouver, helps run a program called Gift of Warmth which collects warm, winter clothes and distributes them to binners — people who collect recyclable material from garbage bins and other areas around the city.

“It’s a group that’s just in need of warm items when the weather turns, as it has this winter,” Smith said.

Items like socks and underwear, sweaters and long-sleeved shirts, boots, sleeping bags and jackets are particularly needed.

‘Hard-working group’

Smith works with the binners daily and gets to know them individually, chatting with them and hearing their stories.

He says the huge variety of people who come in, from ex-athletes to singers, counters some of the stigma that exists against binners.

“It’s a hard working group,” he told Gloria Macarenko, guest host of CBC’s The Early Edition.

“I get to see them for half hour to an hour at the depot, but they’ve put in a six or seven or eight hour shift to raise a little extra money to help themselves make it through the month.”

Regional Recycling is partnering with other groups like, the Binner’s Project, and Working Gear to collect clothing until Dec. 15.

Donations can be dropped off directly at the recycling depot at 960 Evans Ave or through’s weekly bin program.

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