Earth Day 2010!!

Another year another EARTH DAY!!!

First off, I’ll preface this blog posting by saying it’s brought to you by Caribou Beer (not really, but I did pour myself one before I started – actually, I just opened a can.) Caribou is a good beer for Earth Day because they donate a portion of all their sales to reforestation projects. Plus it’s cheap. Cheap sometimes, is good.

LOOK! They even have a Facebook page!

Mostly what I wanted this posting to be about was what the team at Fresh Start has recycled since Earth Day last year. I could keep these numbers to myself of course, but where’s the fun in that? Besides, it’s not really US that’s recycling it’s YOU! And, you’d probably want to know what a good job you’ve done since last year at this time.

So, without further ado, here we are:

What Yards Weight (in KG)
Cardboard 31
Bricks 0.25
Charity 42
Concrete 8.5
Dirt 16.5
Drywall 101.5 10,508
Ewaste 52.5
Green 33.5
Metal 96
Paper 22.5
Misc Recyclable 31
Tiles 8
Wood 678.5 40,480
1122 50,988

But what does all this mean? How big is a cubic yard? Why don’t you have weights for things like Ewaste and Charity even though you collected so many yards? Good questions!!

A cubic yard is about the size of a washing machine. It’s 3x3x3 feet. Those large bins you see on construction sites of mega projects downtown? Those are about 30 to 40 yards per bin.

Some things like bricks we don’t get very often. If you look around Vancouver; there’s nearly nothing made of brick, and if it is, it’s something “heritage” and it’s staying up. Or if it’s coming down, it’s coming down with a fight and you’ll be sure to see a few (mad) people with placards in front of said demolition.

Charity: I was fairly impressed with that. That’s a lot of things that not only were kept out of landfill, they didn’t need to be processed as recycling. They went straight to families that needed them. I’m really proud of that! Imagine, you can’t afford a nice Christmas present for your child, and here’s a brand new pair of Nike Rollerblades, or a “new” Razor scooter. True stories.

Drywall and Wood were the big winners. I like those 2 as well because we can track their weights. I’m a numbers guy and when we recycle cardboard, unless we have 1000 kg or more, the big players won’t pay you. We’re usually not taking more than the back of a pick-up truck full at a time (which doesn’t weigh very much at all – 100kg maybe?) so we usually just take cardboard to the municipal sites. BUT drywall and wood are 2 things we get a lot of and 2 things that are VERY easy to recycle.

All the gypsum in Vancouver goes to New West Gypsum. I’ll let them explain how they recycle it when you click on the link.

The wood we usually take to the construction material recycling facility out in Coquitlam where they either turn it into pulp paper or they grind it up and turn it into beams for new construction. It’s a pretty nifty process.

Misc Recycling is bottles and cans that we get on construction sites.

As I explained above, the reason we don’t list weights for most of that is because we do a lot of trips, but the amounts recycled are often small each time. The easiest way to recycle the material is at municipal sites where they don’t weigh you in and out.

I think I’d also like to give a little shout out to Hotel Le Soleil downtown here in Vancouver, as well as Butterfield Development Consultants (cost consultants for the new Woodward’s building among other large projects). Both of these companies had quite a lot of material in their basement that technically isn’t illegal to throw out, but they did the right thing. They called the professional team at Fresh Start and we were able to make sure everything went to the right place. Their stats are included up above and I’m really happy they called us.

I’m really happy all of you called us. Most of the time it’s not illegal to throw recyclables into the garbage. There’s no ban on Wood for instance, and yet we were able to collect 40,000kg since last Earth Day.

Thank-you everyone,


Thomas Goodall

President (and all around decent guy who’s now had 2 (two) Caribous which is 1 more leaf, on 1 more tree!)



  1. Earth – It’s All In Our Hands
    On one of the blogs posts from (Earth Day Vancouver April 17, 2009 at 11:41

    am • Filed under Environment, World) There is a picture of the Earth held in

    a person’s hands. I found this page in a search for background on the image. I

    found it quite thought provoking. May I ask who created it?
    I saw it and immediately thought of a caption “Earth – It’s All In Our Hands”.

    I do not know if that has ever been used before. It’s close to the one back

    about twenty years ago. It was Earth floating in space then a pair of hands

    crumbling it up like a picture, to the voice over of Corbin Bernson saying

    “Unless you’re recycling, you’re throwing it all away”

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