When Jaewon Kim’s parents moved to Canada from Seoul, South Korea, they were looking for a small business to run as a family. The Encorp Return-It Depot in Courtenay fit perfectly, so the family picked up and moved to the Island in 2003.
“It’s a good business! We started with just beverage containers, and now we’ve expanded to accepting electronics, appliances, paint, packaging and paper, and more,” Kim says. “As the provincial government approves more stewardship programs we are able to expand our services and offer our customers more convenience.”
In the nearly two decades that Kim has been involved in the family business (he now runs the depot with his sister Emily) his appreciation for the recycling industry has grown.
“It’s a really effective way to help clean the city, and clean BC. There are other places around the world — even other first world countries — where there are recyclables all over the highways, rivers and lakes because no one’s picking it up,” he says.
Help your community, big and small
The Courtenay Return-It Depot is a cornerstone of the community, not only providing a key service but inviting citizens to participate in making their home better for everyone. You do your part to recycle to keep the town and the planet clean, and it’s important to do your part at the depot to clean your products to keep smells and wasps away!
- Clean products: “Just rinsing your containers really helps eliminate smells and keep wasps away,” Kim says.
- Donate your refund: Many local sports teams and charities have accounts set up with Courtenay Return-It, so making a donation is simple. “It can be a great boost of funding to charities.”
- Be patient: Jaewon Kim strives to be a convenient one-stop-shop for customers, but the depot is limited by government regulations and can’t accept all items. “Sometimes people get upset when we can’t take an item, or they’ll leave it on the side of our building,” Kim says. Be a good neighbour, and treat the depot as you’d like to be treated.
Interested in becoming a team member? The Courtenay Return It Depot is hiring!
“It’s often a great job for people who are passionate about the environment and want to help make a difference,” Kim says.
Work hours are flexible and there’s never a dull moment at the busy Courtenay centre. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the depot for more information.