Vernon bottle recycling supports VJH Foundation

What started as a small idea has become a huge success

We all have them — empty bottles sitting around the house, waiting to be taken to the bottle depot for recycling.

Most of the time, they hang around for months until something must be done. Have you ever thought of using the money earned from your recyclables to support your community? Desert Cove Homeowners Association is taking a proactive and philanthropic approach with their bottle return program.

Three years ago a resident of Desert Cove named Dave Caldwell had the idea to start a recycling program at Desert Cove and donate the proceeds to the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation. Many of the residents support the Foundation and were happy to contribute their recyclables to the program. In just three years, Desert Cove residents have raised over $3,500. What started as a small idea has become a huge success and Caldwell plans to continue the program.

“Dave sorts all of the bottles and cans, taking off tabs and lids, and then takes everything to be recycled. We call him our Super Hero,” says Marg Wild, a community member at Desert Cove.

In addition to supporting the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation through their recycling program, the Desert Cove Homeowners Association also makes a donation when one of their residents passes away. Their community recognizes that everyone benefits from supporting local health care. Between the recycling program, donations when residents pass away, and large and small personal donations made by residents, the Desert Cove Community has donated over $72,000 to the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation.

“It is incredible to see Desert Cove residents’ join together to support the VJH Foundation,” says Lisa Westermark, Executive Director of the VJH Foundation. “This unique and environmentally friendly way to support the Foundation is appreciated. We are also grateful for the generous gifts in memory of their neighbours and friends.”

Desert Cove Homeowners would like to issue a challenge to all other adult communities in the North Okanagan to start recycling their bottles and cans and donate the funds to the VJH Foundation. “Think of the possibilities this could lead to. Think of the many ways the hospital can use this money. Take on the challenge; we can all make a difference.”

The Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation is raising $275,000 for their 31st Annual Light A Bulb Campaign. Donations can be made online at or by mail to Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation, 2101 – 32nd Street Vernon BC V1T 5L2.

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