Archive for June, 2009

Best of Youtube

I took Thursday through Saturday off and worked on Sunday.  I’m moving, and moving is an all consuming endeavour.  I had to ignore it on Sunday. I didn’t save myself any work though, I came home to find an even larger chaotic mess than when I left in the morning.  My cousin lives in the same house above me, he’s in fact the owner of the house, and he had a very busy Sunday filling my living room with boxes.

In the meantime, while I rearrange the chaos that’s my abode, here’s a “Best Of” on Youtube through the Vancouver Sun.


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Waste to Energy a “hot” topic!

I’m for Waste to Energy because, realistically “Zero Waste” is a ludicrous proposition. I absolutely support reducing (not eliminating) the garbage we create but we’ll forEVER generate garbage.  FOR EVER!  Burying this commodity doesn’t seem wise to me.  It seems to me, that we have the option to recycle the by product of our existence (the garbage) by turning it into energy to power our lights, and heat our greenhouses.

Thinking of new, innovative ways to recycle and reduce is laudable, but in the mean time, I have to say, burying energy in the ground is a bit silly. The people that I’ve spoken to that are hungry to create energy from our waste say that they lack guidelines to which to adhere.  In much the same way we have to have our cars pass Air Care, they’ll keep their smoke stacks polluting at manageable levels.

A goal of zero waste seems to keep metro Vancouver diverting about 70% of it’s waste.  As long as the regulation exists to either maintain the status quo of 70% diversion or increase that, then I think burning that 30% and turning that waste  into energy deserve real serious consideration.

I’m not a huge fan of the never ending, paralytic, back and forth conversation ad nauseum. Whatever the answer is, I’d like to see some action one way or the other.

Here’s what the professional writers at the CBC have to say on the topic and both sides of the debate are explored.

There seems to be people very passionate on both sides of the debate.  Does anyone out there care to weigh in?

A worker at the GVRD waste to energy plant looks on as garbage is incinerated to be turned into electricity and steam energy. (CBC)

A worker at the GVRD waste to energy plant looks on as garbage is incinerated to be turned into electricity and steam energy. (CBC)

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Why?  Why in this day and age, when a company sends material that we need to run our business do we get this?

This is:

  • 1 manual
  • A couple of stickers, and
  • 1 page “Welcome” letter

It’s disgusting!

I like the salesguy that sold it to me, so I’ll protect the vendor until I’ve had a word with him, but I have to say, It’s abhorrent to be sending material out in this way in 2009.  It was abhorrent before, and that’s how we got to this stage in 2009.  Gross!





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Birds of Paradise

I’m moving at the end of the month, and I wanted to take a break and read the blogs of my peers.  The girls at BYOB have this video up, and I thought, “What does this have to do with plastic bags?” For that matter, “What does it have to do with recycling construction sites?”

But you know what? I liked the video.  I don’t care about EITHER of those 2 things. I thought it was cool and I got a few minutes to myself.

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Recycling Market Taking a beating!

Here’s a recent CTV Article from June 11th: “Recyclers Taking a Hit in Hard Economy“.  It’s an interesting look at the industry.

I don’t feel so bad when people call us up to come and pick up items at their house or on their renovation site and they’re not only surprised at the cost, but more importantly, that there’s ANY cost. “But it’s RECYCLING” is often given as a retort.

It costs money to put smart, educated people in vehicles, and send them out in the world, and educate them about smart recycling, donation and disposal. This is really how our company generates revenue.  From customers paying for service. The items we pick up, while recyclable rarely generate a sizable amount of revenue. Sure, we pick up some copper pipe from plumbing jobs from time to time, but usually we might get $20 for it or something like that. It’s never enough to come even close to covering the cost of fuel for the day, let alone labour, maintenance etc.

One of the stats in the article is that cardboard used to be $200 per tonne, and now it’s worth $20 per tonne.  Well, believe you me, it takes a lot longer than an hour for 2 people to arrive at a site, load 1 tonne of cardboard (which incidently is a HECK OF A LOT volume wise), and haul it to the facility for recycling. Actually, I personally don’t know of any facilities in Vancouver that will pay you for any cardboard less than 1000kg in a load. I wouldn’t expect anyone to know this outside of the industry, so I thought it was worth mentioning.

So, take a look.  It’s good to learn more about an industry you’re passionate about.

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10 Ways to Swat a Fly

Here’s a fun article by the BBC after US President Barack Obama paused an interview to take care of a rather annoying pest!

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2Q Visual Thinking Workshop

My buddy, Steven Lin of 2Q Creations is hosting a workshop at BCIT on Wednesday June 24, 2009 from 6pm to 9pm. Cost $25.

It’s a visual thinking workshop designed to exercise your right brain.  Sounds interesting!

Here’s a link to more information on his website:

2 Q’s Discovery Session

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