Return-It Blog

Ken Lyotier a pioneer in our industry

On behalf of Return-it, I ( Allen Langdon, President & CEO) would like to acknowledge the passing of a pioneer in our industry, Ken Lyotier.

Ken was the founder of United We Can and played a vital role as an advocate for binners, a term that was coined here in Vancouver, to recognize their role in the informal economy. A long-time resident of the Downtown Eastside, Ken founded United We Can as a social enterprise to ensure that binners would have a place where they could always take their containers for refund. A business operated by binners for binners. For many years, he served on the Return-it Advisory Committee, providing his thoughtful advice to the organization and always advocating for binners to expand their scope and role within our system. His contributions have been recognized in many ways including in his selection as the final torchbearer who brought the Olympic Torch to Vancouver on its last stop before the Opening Ceremonies in 2010. Ken has been an inspiration to many and his legacy of United We Can continues today as a testament to his vision and his drive to provide a safe space for his community. On behalf of everyone at Return-it, I want to share our sincere condolences to Ken’s family and friends and everyone at United We Can on his passing.

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