Spectrum Community School band members Sebastien Schwarz

Spectrum Community School band members Sebastien Schwarz

With 141,000 bottles returned, Spectrum students win recycling contest

The Bottle Depot year-long competition nets Spectrum $1,500 for new band instruments

For her first two years at Spectrum Community School, Katelyn Smith showed up every month for the band’s bottle drives.

Now in Grade 11, Smith still shows up when she can.

“It’s fun, we split into sorters and collectors for the first few hours then we all sort from 11:30 a.m. to about 1 p.m., and make a big lunch,” she said.

On Saturday, Smith and her bandmates will receive a $3,700 cheque from The Bottle Depot, as Spectrum returned the most containers in The Bottle Depot’s year-long contest that ended in Feburary.

Spectrum band’s monthly bottle drives collected and returned 141,661 items, the most of the 50 or so organizations that competed in the The Bottle Depot contest at the vendor’s three locations: 3961 Quadra St., 655 Queens Ave. and 4261 Glanford Ave.

“Spectrum returned about 20,000 units above everyone else, we’re thrilled to give them the cheque for it,” said operations manager Kelly Gorman of the The Bottle Depot.

Spectrum won $1,500 cash for the contest and earned another $2,200 in one month from the proceeds of The Bottle Depot’s charity bins.

There is a method to Spectrum’s success, Gorman said.

For one, the band runs bottle drivers regularly. They also hold the drives following long weekends, which has proven fruitful.

“They follow the trends of when people consume more, and it has paid off,” Gorman said.

Of course, bottle collections have their drawbacks.

“It’s the stickiness, or when your gloves break, that’s the worst,” said band member Trent Walker, who’s enjoyed the best and the worst of bottle collecting.

“People also leave their bags of empties in the driveway for months, that can be really gross especially if it spills out everywhere,” Smith added.

“The kids work hard, they’re very dedicated to the band,” said band leader Jamie Davis, who added the money will be used to purchase a new baritone saxophone for the band, and any leftover amount will go towards sheet music.

“We have a couple of baritone saxophones, but we’re in need of a new one. It’s common for the bigger school bands to provide some of the larger, more unique instruments such as the baritone sax, which isn’t necessarily as affordable for students as some of the instruments.”

Fundraisers are part and parcel for Spectrum band members, who sell homemade apple pies in the fall, poinsettias at Christmas and Mothers’ Day flower baskets.

But the biggest money comes from the bottle returns.

“We are indebted to the community,” Davis said. “We have people who phone us to ask when our  next bottle drive is .And anyone can donate them to The Bottle Depot, you just have to say it’s for the Spectrum band when you donate.”

Spectrum is hosting an upcoming New Orleans Jazz Night with the school’s junior and senior jazz bands and jazz combos, 7 p.m. Friday, April 24 in the Spectrum gymnasium. Tickets are $10 at the door. Desserts will be available from the school’s culinary program.



Just Posted

Co-creatorsAdrianna Hatton and Malcolm McKenzie stand next to the little free library revealed Sunday at 9710 First St. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Literary crowd helps opens little free library in Sidney

Located at 9710 First St., the book sharing box features original art and reclaimed wood

Deep Cove Elementary School principal Shelley Hardcastle (right) and vice-principal Mary Kaercher help to restock Reay Creek with fish – in this case, coho fry – after a recent bleach spill killed hundreds of fish. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
North Saanich’s Deep Cove Elementary School helps to restock Sidney’s Reay Creek

Restocking followed bleach spill that killed hundreds of fish in creek

A new report pegs the annual cost of hiring a third party to monitor use of pickleball courts in North Saanich at $12,000. (Black Press Media file photo).
North Saanich could end up hiring third party to monitor pickleball courts

Other options up for consideration include use of cameras and timed locks

The barred owl is the most likely to be spotted in the south Island. (Ann Nightingale photo)
Barred owls dominate Greater Victoria owl-scape

Western screech owl population decimated, partly due to barred owls

Between June 1 and 7, 168 net unconditional sales were made for properties in the VREB region. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria home sales slightly behind last June’s pace

Benchmark value of single-family home in Greater Victoria tops $1 million

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read