The Gleaner

Genie in a Bottle Project prepares for Earth Day

With Earth Day around the corner, it’s important to highlight some of the environmental organizations in the Valley that help to make this region more environmentally conscious. The Genie in a Bottle Project has been around since 2019, collecting recyclables to be properly disposed of, while using the money made from the returns to support causes like the Betty Riel Foundation and VOBOC (Venturing Out Beyond Our Cancer).

On March 16, the organization officially received its status as a not-for-profit organization. Founder Shirley Cavanagh explains that this step will “allow us to ask for grants to help us grow from different aspects.” The project has many plans for expansion in the near future, including creating partnerships with different restaurants and hiring a full-time employee. There have also been discussions with Huntingdon MNA Carole Mallette and different municipalities in the region about how they could collaborate moving forward.

For Earth Day this year, Genie in a Bottle will be participating in the Earth Day Forum in Ormstown. “We will have a booth to answer questions, we will be doing a collection outside, and leading a table to do crafts with corks,” explains Cavanagh. These corks crafts are a part of a new initiative the project is launching where corks are transformed into things like wreaths and birdhouses. Eventually these will be sold, and the profits will be donated to Melissa’s Sunshine Camp. The organization will also be present at HAECC’s Earth Day events on April 24, participating in activities with students.


A man in a warehouse pulls an electronic lift full of boxes.
Gian Tanner a volunteer with the Genie in a Bottle Project helped to load a 53 foot trailer belonging to the Darragh Trucking company with 24 pallets carrying 20920 wine and alcohol bottles all of which were returned for refund PHOTO Facebook Genie in a Bottle Project


Cavanagh makes sure to highlight that Earth Day is a very important day. “Quebec is way behind in terms of recycling and protecting the environment. Earth Day is important, as it is a way to educate people and show what services and groups are available and how they can help make a difference.” She encourages people to get involved with Earth Day activities.

Genie in a Bottle is always looking for volunteers to help with recycling efforts. Currently people are needed to “help sort recyclables, or also behind the scenes, such as poster making for our events, helping with translation etc.” Crafty people are also needed to help create the cork crafts that will be for sale. Folks who are interested can contact Cavanagh at 514-705-6667.

Since 2019, the Genie in a Bottle project has recycled 181,163 alcohol and wine bottles, 321,182 aluminum soft drink and beer cans, 47,710 plastic soft drink bottles, and 31,385 beer bottles. On top of that, it has recycled about 2,000 pounds of aluminum and tin cans, and is waiting on contracts with glass and plastic recyclers so 2,500 more pounds of glass and 25,000 plastic water bottles can be returned. Since starting in November 2019, this organization has raised $46,320.75 for various organizations, and that number is consistently growing.

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