Learn more about the Community Pick-Up Program here .
Who we are and what we do:
The Diverters Foundation is dedicated to creating economic opportunities, de-stigmatizing diverting, diverting waste into recycling, and promoting social cohesion among members of the diverter community. Diverting involves bottle collection, waste picking, or binning to earn income and divert waste into recycling instead of the landfill.
The Diverters Foundation was an Our Place Society and Vancouver Binners Project supported group founded in 2018, officially becoming a registered not-for-profit society in August 2020. Over the past two years, members of the Diverters Foundation have provided contracted waste sorting at a number of events in the City of Victoria (Car Free Day); built relationships with various community stakeholders (The Bottle Depot, community organizations); and have piloted a commercial waste diversion program.
The organization’s goals are to deliver community programs to help provide skills and economic opportunities for marginalized people in Victoria. The foundation supports Diverters as valued members of the community by recognizing their knowledge about diverting, providing accountability, and building social networks; thereby laying the groundwork for them to improve their quality of life and to build more sustainable communities. The ultimate vision for the foundation is to one day be completely Diverter-operated and self-determined.
Similar organizations operate in other cities, including the Binners’ Project in Vancouver , and the Cooperative Les Valoristes in Montreal .
Diverters, especially in North America, are a highly excluded and stigmatized demographic. Through this program, Diverters will gain an increased sense of social inclusion and belonging through their engagement under an official membership of the Foundation, with Victoria neighbourhoods . Funding is needed to: 1) provide bi-weekly stipends for the on-the-ground Diverters Coordinator, 2) supply PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for the Diverter membership, and 3) produce informational, safety, and promotional materials for distribution within the membership and the greater community.
With the support of the Board, the Diverter Community Pick-Up and Membership Building Program is a completely Diverter-designed and Diverter-run program. The program was developed by the current Diverter Coordinator, an active diverter, with consultation from the diverting and binning community of Victoria.
This program works to improve various social determinants of health and well-being for the Diverter population such as community-building and increased income. Empowerment for Diverters and acceptance of their role in the communities will lead to an increased sense of safety for the members and the general public. Refunds from returnables often act as the primary income for Diverters. Thus, this program will continue to help to support these marginalized populations in Victoria.
Our goal is to raise 6,000 by the end of May 2021. Donations will be used for our Diverter Coordinator stipend, PPE for Diverters, and operational costs.
Given the current status of the COVID-19 pandemic, some work carries inherent risks. However, the service provided by the Diverters is essential. When individuals join the Diverters membership, training is provided in decreasing risks by preparing areas of work, hygiene and personal practices, education about the virus, and community pick-up guides (e.g., curbside pick-up only). Information materials and basic PPE (masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer) will be provided to the Diverter members. Diverters’ membership will perform curbside pick-ups and socially distanced interactions with the public and coordinator. All current public health orders will be followed.
Check out our website to learn more about the foundation
We welcome questions and discussion! Please feel free to reach out.
The Diverters Foundation operates on the unceded Coast Salish Territory of the Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ Nations.