Archive for Recycling

Killer Waste

Bottle caps, pen lids, twist ties, that little piece that snapped off your kid’s toy the other day.  Individually these items and others like them may seem small and harmless, and individually, for the most part, they are.  Sadly if they are not disposed of properly and recycled these small pieces of plastic will become lethal for sea birds and other forms of marine life.

A study of albatross chicks on Midway Atoll, a tiny island in the center of the pacific ocean, found that forty percent died before fledging: their stomachs packed with plastic debris that their parents had mistaken for food.  If this is happening thousands of kilometers from any major population centers, imagine what the waters off the coasts of our cities must look like.

Please reduce the use of disposable plastic products and recycle what you can to divert all these little, lethal pieces of plastic from our landfills and oceans. If you need a little inspiration scroll down!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog for July 2015 Killer Waste

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Winnipeg Recycler Hailed as a “Rock Star”

The Star reported a short story about a man in Winnipeg who sent 41,767 cigarette butts to a company to recycle. In turn they have called him a hero. A nice, inspirational story to remind us all that there are good people out there making a difference and we could be one of them – assuming we are willing to go that EXTRA mile.

The cool thing I took away from this article was the company itself and what they are doing! TerraCycle takes previously un-recyclable or hard to recycle items, like the dreaded coffee pods and snack pouches, and recycles them into useable goods. They run various programs, called Brigades, and you can check them out online, collect your waste, order a shipping label from them and then post your waste – Voilà!

Take a couple of minutes and check out their site and then tell a friend! They are a great example of next step thinking – some municipalities are still struggling to offer standard recycling, TerraCycle brings recycling to the door of those who want and can do it!

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The Unexpected Consequence

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Fresh Start was formed with the idea of helping people deal with their waste in an environmental and authentic way. Turned out that there are lots of people out there who were looking for the opportunity to do just that. A long, awesome story short, business boomed and we needed to hire a team.

We thought a lot about who we wanted to be as an employer and who we wanted to be part of the team. Since we work a lot in and around the downtown east side, it occurred to us that we had a great opportunity to invest in our community. We are proud to boast that our team is comprised almost entirely of present or previous members for the downtown east side. They are phenomenal employees, and equally as important, Fresh Start wouldn’t be the company we are without them.

Making a difference in the world is it’s own reward, whether it’s through recycling, volunteering or choosing to invest in your community. But more often than not, taking advantage of these opportunities to make a positive impact will have unexpected beneficial consequences – you know, that whole ripple effect thing!

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Does your community have a Share Shed?

Recently I was visiting a small Central BC town and helping a friend haul their recycling and garbage to the local dump. As we pulled up to the recycling area, I saw a couple of large shed structures, filled with useable donated items, with a big sign over that read Share Shed.

I asked my buddy what the Share Shed was and how it worked. He explained that some people come and drop off various items, from old mattresses, clothes, and toys to used lighting fixtures and garden decorations, and other people come and pick up what they might need.

A Share Shed – a simple idea that keeps tonnes of useable stuff out of the landfill and benefits other people. The added bonus being that it is located AT the dump, a one-stop-shop for donations, recycling and trash.

I did a little research to see if these Share Sheds were common in other cities and so far I don’t see a lot of them around. Does anyone have one in their town or know why they aren’t more common?

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Campers, Avid BBQers, Outdoorsmen, Blowtorch-wielders, lend me your ears!

For all of those who have these 1lb propane tanks rolling around the garage from last years camping or some summertime weed-torching, this Fresh Tip is for you!

For this tip you will need:

A propane adapter: available from various retailers

A 20lb propane tank w/ propane

Any number of 1lb empty propane tanks

Simply fit the adapter onto the 20lb tank, turn the tank upside down and attach the 1lb tank to the open end of the adapter. (see images below)

Not only are you reducing, reusing and recycling, but you are also saving money! 1lb tanks at Canadian Tire are $5.29 tax not included. 20lb tank refills are $20 – $25. Essentially you can refill your 1 lb tank over and over – 20 times for half the cost of buying them prefilled!

The three Rs covered and cash in your pocket, another Fresh Tip brought to you by Fresh Start Recycling and Disposal Ltd! Have a blast.

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5 Fresh Tips on De-cluttering

The change of seasons often brings the chance to de-clutter as you pack up the past season’s accoutrement and start unpacking the new (all those pool toys, sand buckets, table umbrella’s etc.).

Here are our 5 Fresh Tips on De-cluttering!

  1. Take it one space at a time! Like any job if you’re scope is too big you may become overwhelmed by not knowing where to start and either make a bigger mess (we all have those half started projects) or not start at all.
  2. Get three boxes (or spots on your garage floor) and label them “Dispose” “Keep” “Donate” and any item that is not immediately in use put into one of those categories. Remember items being donated should be in good repair or they will just end up being disposed of but at the expense of your favourite charity you’re trying to help.
  3. Organize! As you’re de-cluttering take note of what you use most and how you might optimally organize all those “keep” items and even organize the in-use items to prevent a future clutter problem. This is a great article that talks about systems for keeping you organized
  4. Set a time limit for working. An hour and a half or two hours and then take a break…coffee get fresh air etc. This will help you not get too overwhelmed.
  5. Set a deadline. Pre-book Big Brothers or your other favourite charity to pick up your “donate” items and FreshStart to pick up your “recycle” and “dispose” items and then work to those deadlines.

If you know you need to de-clutter but don’t have the will or time, our colleague from A Helping Hand Organizing Service is offering a 10% discount if you mention this article when you call to book.

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What’s up with MMBC?

Have you heard about MMBC? It’s been on a lot of people’s lips recently, many people in support and many people against. Well, it’s like this: MMBC is “Multi-Material British Columbia,” a non-profit organization who has taken over handling all recycling for residential packaging and printed paper.

Now instead of the government paying to take all these recyclables away, businesses that use such materials are required to pay MMBC to take care of things. The idea is that the companies that are sending you their products in boxes should be the ones paying for you to get rid of them rather than you having to pay the costs yourself through taxes. This is a decision that has produced a lot of controversy. Many people don’t trust a company, even a non-profit, handling this instead of the government and feel this would add extra complications and cost more in the long run. A website has been set-up, RethinkItBC  to address their concerns.

Though MMBC will result in a few changes, some good and maybe some bad, in the end at least it still means someone is regularly coming to take away many of the recyclables you’ve left at the curb. MMBC will remove all sorts of printed paper, including newsprint, magazines, and telephone books. It will also be picking-up an incredibly wide range of packaging, such as cardboard, paper laminates, aseptic containers, glass bottles, steel packaging, and aluminum containers. However, they are not picking up everything. No machine parts, organic waste, potentially hazardous materials, and various other garbage not connected to paper or packaging.

But that’s okay; FreshStart is still here to take care of what you can’t leave curbside. We’re always around to tackle the recycling and disposal that other organizations can’t.

To learn more about MMBC from both perspectives, visit the websites for MMBC  and #RethinkItBC. And remember, whatever your stance on this issue, you can rely on us to look after your additional recycling needs.

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