When GIRO opened its doors in 1991, “climate change,” “sustainability,” and “carbon footprint” weren’t a part of everyday conversations.
The founding members moved a small building onto land donated by Merv and Annette Sweeney, opened a recycling centre, and committed themselves to re-using and recycling.
Their creative spirit has inspired GIRO for over 30 years. Today, GIRO’s reputation for innovation and programming spreads well beyond the Nanaimo area, and GIRO is a must-see for many visitors— a community hub, rich with personality and strong with its work for our planet.
For over 30 years, GIRO has provided significant means and ways for our community to recycle, re-use, and re-fashion every imaginable household and outdoor item.
“After all these years, I still feel proud to be a founding member of what started out as a recycling depot and has now become an essential part of our community, providing employment and right livelihood, and a great place to re-imagine our consumption habits.”
“I appreciate the dedicated people who work at GIRO for their help whenever I drop items off or seek items from the re-store. GIRO provides more recycling services than any place I have lived. That is amazing as I have lived in many large cities across Canada. I encourage everyone on the Island to support this very worthwhile organization.”
GIRO’s waste diversion reports confirm its role as a regional leader in recycling and repurposing used materials. Its system-bending programs include teaching students sustainable values at the Gabriola Elementary School, then supporting these students in their climate-actions in our community. GIRO also assists local businesses working to make their operations green and responsible.
In 2020, the Regional District of Nanaimo ranked GIRO’s textile-repurposing proposal first among regional waste-diversion proposals. It provided GIRO with a major grant to move forward with plans to re-use textiles in imaginative ways.
This experiment with a “circular economy” has already received province-wide interest, along with international press coverage. And new ideas for reducing our footprint on this good Earth are always on GIRO’s horizon.
“Being engaged with our waste and discards has always been important to me—it helps to balance the mindlessness that can come with consumption.
GIRO is a gift – a place where care, intelligence and community come together. A source of pride for Gabriolans.”
Become a change-maker. Support the spirit that started GIRO in 1991. Help us show the world new ways to live, new ways to be.