Posts Tagged Recycling

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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Do you know WTF?

Ok, so came across this poster on the Internet and it caught my attention.


I had to click and see what it was all about. This particular poster was from a cancer prevention campaign in 2011, but the more I searched it turned out WTF is a sporadically used acronym in environmental circles.

So for your reading pleasure, here are a few Environmental WTFs!


WTF: Wannabe Toxic Free

WTF: What the Frack

WTF: When the F


Click to Read More


WTF pic

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The Unexpected Consequence


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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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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Easy energy saving idea

Hi everyone,

Last year we picked up a fridge at a job site and I decided to keep it. I put it in my storage locker and started whispering sweet nothings to my girlfriend like, “Do  you know how cheap it is to make beer?” And, “Wouldn’t it be nice to invite friends over and not need to hit up the liquor store?” Things like this. There wasn’t anything wrong with it, but the previous owners had bought a new one and needed to be rid of the old one. Perfect. I want to make a keg fridge, here’s a fridge, DONE. Recycled. Everyone wins.

I set about brewing some beer, we painted it in chalkboard paint because as most old fridges are, it needed some love. Plus, it means I can put 2 kegs in it and write “Pilsner” on one side, and “IPA” on the other. It’s genius. Not my idea, but genius nonetheless.

This brings me to my idea, and the reason for this post. How to save energy. At the moment, I only have 1 keg in there; a Pilsner. Only being a semi beer geek, I knew Pilsner was served on the cooler end of the spectrum but not at exactly which temperature. Turns out, according to this, it’s between 4 and 7 degrees centigrade.

I set my fridge to ‘5’ and added “Fridge Thermometer” to my shopping list.

For $10, I learned that ‘5’ equates to 2 degrees and my beer was much too cold. A ‘1’, was still 3 degrees. I turned it down to half way between 0 and 1, where it turns out there’s a lot of room. It bounces around between 4 and 7 and often stays at 5 degrees.

So, for $10, you might learn your fridge is way too cold and you can knock 5 “units” of cooling off the top.

You might be wondering how I was able to sneak a keg fridge past my girlfriend? Under my t-shirt of course! Nah, just kidding, 1) I started months ago, and 2) She noticed the freezer up top. It’s not full yet, but she’s on her way! 🙂

PS. Keg fridges are everything I said  they were. Holy smokes, making your own beer is cheap. $35 for 23L, no taxes. None. Not even HST. And second, you do kind of feel like a hero when your friends come over and you offer them a beer. Pouring your own pitchers for the table from your own fridge is nothing short of spectacular.

I’ve taken some pictures to add later on in the week. Right now, it’s 7:15am and I’m going to be late for a meeting.

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560 Jobs? I don’t want them. Not this way at least….

I spent this last weekend at my girlfriend’s dad’s vineyard/farm/garden. Basically he has 11 acres, a vineyard, 16 chickens, a rooster and a nice vegetable garden. Like, a NICE vegetable garden. And the eggs? Oh, the eggs!  100 mile diet? Try 100m diet.

Her dad’s an outdoorsy, woodsy, conservationist kind of guy always exploring, hunted all his life, loves finding birds nests and counting the eggs and so on. Been to Spain? He’s an old Spanish guy. It’s kind of, a little bit, awesome.

It occurred to me that Enbridge’s Northern Gateway is going to provide 560 long-term jobs  for British Columbians and help towards making a multi million $$$ company become a multi billion $$$$ company.

I don’t like it. 

I’m a capitalist. I like profit. The wheels of business excite me, and it gives me pleasure to look at a spreadsheet. I ALSO own a recycling company and I feel really good about that. Because of this, the idea of a pipeline running through pristine wilderness to help multi millionaires become multi billionaires bothers me. Quite a bit actually. Especially because I don’t consider myself to be an “environmental radical”  like the Prime Minister of Canada thinks I am when I oppose his plans for the pipeline.

I consider myself a business owner, employing people in Vancouver, sometimes employing those less fortunate myself through the welfare program, and a person that helps the local economy. To a very small degree, BC’s and Canada’s economy/environment as well. But you know what? All that being said, no matter how much I like spreadsheets, and business, the relationships that come out of alliances, and ALL of that…..   If you have a garden, some chickens, a rifle or a shotgun for the fall hunting season, and maybe a pig or cow or 2, AND  family/friends to share with…. I’m pretty sure you’re the richest person alive.

Let’s not make an irreversible change away from “Beautiful British Columbia” for the sake of a few $ and a few jobs. If I hire some people, and you hire some people, 560 isn’t all that many jobs and it CERTAINLY isn’t all that radical.

It IS environmental, but I can’t help that.

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Larry Johnson

Larry Johnson sent me an email asking if I would post his article on “25 Interesting Facts You May Not Know about Recycling”. I decided to oblige him. I looked at most of the links, but not all. If you see something that seems out-of-place, let me know. I’m not 100% certain about the “Sunday Paper” link (HARDLY seems like a credible source), but overall, I found his article interesting and worth reading.

One of the links from his article that I really liked explaining what the different #s on plastic means was this one:

Feedback? Let me know.


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