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Urban Impact Recycling Education School Tours

Nicole gave a presentation, called “Recycling Education for the Next Generation” at the Zero Waste Challenge conference. Watch the video.

April 23rd
CKNW’s Renowned Sean Leslie interviews Nicole Stefenelli on The World Today Weekend, for her thoughts on all things Earth Week 2011.

As part of Urban Impact’s commitment to Waste Reduction Week, we conduct a series of Recycling School Tours for Grade Four and Five classes. In October, students from Beach Grove, Woodward, McCloskey, Port Guichon, Debeck and Hamilton Elementary Schools took part in our program and competed in our Waste Not, Want Not Challenge! Each school class competes for the best answers to questions about how to reduce their impact with the best waste reduction ideas. The class with the best answers, according to Urban Impact President Nicole Stefenelli, wins $500!

The students learn all about the role of a recycling business in the marketplace, about how a recycling plant works, and why we need to improve our waste reduction practices in our businesses, communities, schools and homes. The students also get to see really big machinery! Urban Impact has been sponsoring these tours for nearly four years, and has taken approximately 50 Lower Mainland classes on the tours. Feedback from the students and teachers has been very positive. If you know of a teach of a grade 5 class in the Lower Mainland that you think would be interested in having a tour, contact us at 604.273.0089 or

This year’s winner of our Waste Not, Want Not Challenge was Delta’s McCloskey Elementary.

School Tour Feedback is Very Positive from Students and Teachers
We received a thank you from Einer Tang, a teacher at McCloskey Elementary:

“My class and I wanted to thank you so much for helping to arrange this morning’s wonderful tour of the Knox plant. Seeing the process up close and hearing the 5 step process helped to make a big impact on the children. Nicole Stefenelli was an excellent guide and explained, answered and challenged the children to be effectors for change. This was a great message! The children are preparing a proper thank-you note, but in the meantime, thank you for providing such great connection between learning about caring for the environment in the classroom and the community.


Einer Teng, McCloskey Elementary

Here is how McCloskey’s students described the Recycling Education Tour:

“Urban Impact President Nicole Stefanelli invited us to come visit her paper recycling centre in Richmond. She took us on an informative tour of the entire facility. We saw first hand the 5 stages of the operation. First, paper is COLLECTED from various businesses and schools from the Lower Mainland. Second, it is SORTED by type. Third, it is SHREDDED. Fourth, it is BALED into 1 tonne blocks. Lastly, it is TRANSPORTED either to the local manufacturing market or shipped overseas as far away as Brazil, Korea, India and China. Altogether, the students asked many questions, answered just as many and we’re greatly impressed by Urban Impact’s large-scale facility. Several students were even rewarded with baseball caps for asking fantastic questions.”

Grade 4/5 students, McCloskey Elementary

“Learning about recycling first hand really showed us where and what happens to our recycled paper products and I feel much more knowledgable on the subject.”

“I enjoyed that Nicole was engaging with us a lot and showed us the equipment and stuff. I found it interesting that there are hardly and employees and it’s all machinery. She gave everyone hats!”

“Nicole Stefenelli’s tour was very informative and organized. She engaged us to voice our questions and i learned so much about the first hand recycling process.”

“The Urban Impact tour was interesting because we got to interact with the facility. An example is that we got to go in the container and push the paper bundles.”

After our Spring School Tours, we received some really nice thank you notes from the Grade 4/5 students of Queen Alexandra School in Vancouver. In their efforts to reduce, reuse, recycle, repair and reinvent, the students opted to send us letters on pre-usd paper. Here are some highlights:

“Because of you, the paper that British Columbia creates is being recycled. Now I know how to put paper into bales. From now on I will think twice before throwing paper into the garbage.”

“Thank you for teaching us all about recycling. It was fun when we got to push the bale. I thought it was easy to push because it was all paper. I never knew that it was that heavy!”

“From now on I will try to tell my family how to recycle. I will use the advice to teach my family. I will draw pictures to show my family what to put in the recycling bin. Thanks for the advice.”

“Because of you, the tour was more fun. Now I know the five steps of making bales. From now on, I will take some time looking for ways to help the earth. Before the field trip, I didn’t know bales weighed up to 1000 kilograms!”

Our School Tours Program in the News
South Delta Leader Reporter Kristine Salzmann was on hand earlier this week to take part in one of the tours. Read her report in The South Delta Leader []

How You Can Participate
Urban Impact has been sponsoring these tours for nearly four years, and sends school buses to pick up the students and teachers. We have taken approximately 50 Lower Mainland classes through the tours. Feedback from the students has been excellent. If you know of a teach of a grade 4 or 5 class in the Lower Mainland that you think would be interested in having a tour, contact us at or