Project Directors Cheryn Wong and Murray Mollard met in the fall of 2011 as students in Simon Fraser University’s program in Certificate in Dialogue and Civic Engagement. They have extensive experience working with local communities on matters as diverse as recycling, policing, health care, privacy, social support, amateur sports, policy development, non-profit management, citizenship, democratic reform, and civil liberties.
Cheryn and Murray are both avid recyclers and used their SFU Certificate program to pilot a dialogue on food scraps recycling with residents in the Kayak Building in the Olympic Village in South East False Creek. The Trashtalk project seeks to take one of their key findings from that dialogue – that successful multi-family residence recycling programs require a high degree of neighbour engagement and education – to a new level by recruiting champions in a diverse range of residences in Vancouver.
Cheryn and Murray are trained to assist communities with planning and implementation of engagement and education strategies. Engagement may be defined as the art of bringing diverse individuals in a community together to converse, collaborate to develop new ideas and take collective action on identified priority needs of the community.
They will support recycling champions with any and all aspects of planning and implementing a residential recycling program that engages their neighbours. Assistance will be tailored to the specific needs of recycling champions and their neighbours in specific residential apartments or strata buildings. Assistance may include mentorship, strategic advice, planning, waste audits, education, coaching, facilitation and training.
Cheryn and Murray also have considerable knowledge regarding recycling. They have and will continue to work with solid waste management, sustainability and engagement staff from Metro Vancouver, the City of Vancouver as well as not-for-profit and private sector organizations while tapping into the resources, networks and knowledge of the project partners – Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House, Gordon Neighbourhood House and the Recycling Council of British Columbia – to support local residential recycling champion teams.