Earthwise History

Children learn to recycle at the Delta Recycling Society, Earthwise's earliest form.

Children learn to recycle at the Delta Recycling Society.

1979 – The Beginning

  • Earthwise has always been a leader in sustainability initiatives, starting its life as the Delta Recycling Society (DRS).
  • In 1979, in response to a municipal garbage strike, a group of concerned Delta citizens founded the Delta Recycling Project to set up community recycling depots.
  • The idea of recycling caught on, and Delta Recycling Society (DRS) was registered as a Non Profit Society in 1983.

1988 –

  • Delta Recycling Society was quick to learn that education is the key to sustainability, successfully establishing the first blue box collection program in Western Canada in 1988.
  • The early work of the society was also intricately linked to providing employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
    Plans laid for the Earthwise Garden.

    Plans laid for the Earthwise Garden.


1995 –

  • In 1995, the Society created a Compost Demonstration Garden at its recycling facility in Tilbury Industrial Park to raise awareness about backyard composting and create a welcome green space for local business workers.
  • Later renamed the Earthwise Garden, the unique, one-acre display garden was the first of its kind in BC, demonstrating ecological landscaping and featuring native and drought tolerant plants.
  • The Garden provided a unique green refuge in an industrial park, where area workers could eat lunch, stroll, or grow food in the community gardens.

    The Red Barn and Earthwise Garden, then.

    The Red Barn and Earthwise Garden, then.

2001 –

  • In 2001, the BC Landscape and Nursery Association recognized the Society for Leadership in Environmental Stewardship for its role in championing the Earthwise Garden.
  • By 2004, North America’s recycling industry had grown into a mainstream business, and the Corporation of Delta made the decision to contract with a large private recycling company.  As a result, the Tilbury facility and its demonstration garden were closed, but Earthwise Society designed a new garden for McKitrick Park in North Delta.
  • In 2005, the Delta Recycling Society officially changed its name to DRS Earthwise Society, to reflect its new focus on a broader range of
    Volunteers work to reconstruct the Earthwise barn.

    Volunteers work to reconstruct the Earthwise barn.

    environmental education and community stewardship initiatives.

2007 – Present Day

  • Earthwise Society moved to its new home in Tsawwassen in 2007, creating the Boundary Bay Earthwise Garden and Farm on land generously provided by Century Group.
  • The new site offered Earthwise Society exciting opportunities for long term planning and allowed for a new range of programs focused on small scale sustainable
    The Red Barn and Earthwise Garden, now

    The Red Barn and Earthwise Garden, now.


  • Today, the three acre site in Boundary Bay has been transformed into a beautiful and productive public garden and organic farm with year round production, a plant nursery, a farm store, and ongoing educational programs for all ages.

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