The Economics of Inclusion, Good for Everyone, Good for GDP – Hilary Clinton Part 1

Last Wednesday, March 5, Hillary Rodham Clinton presented a keynote address to an enthusiastic full house at the Q.E. Theatre.

 

With International Woman’s Day (March 8) close on the tail of the occasion, many local women entrepreneurs were in the house to be wowed by the former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State’s message regarding women, their role and position in the world.

Hillary Clinton highlighted the long and arduous road travelled by women and girls, especially those in developing countries to get to a place called ‘equal’. Moreover, she spoke about the documented and measurable economic benefits reaped in countries and cultures where women are included in, rather than Continue reading…

Board of Trade SOUNDING BOARD – March issue: MMBC guest column

MMBC – it’s all the talk on trash these days!

If you haven’t heard about the new legislation on Printed Paper and Packaging coming into effect this May, trust me, you’ll be getting an earful very soon and from all sides! Municipalities, Metro Vancouver, garbage companies, recycling companies and not least the producers and manufacturers of printed paper and packaging.

The BC Printing and Imaging Association is strongly opposed to how the program has been rolled out, comparing it to a looming ‘Titanic disaster’ that will ‘harm the BC economy and…. job growth’

For the full story on the association’s opposition, check out Marilynn Knoch’s guest column in this month’s Board of Trade Sounding Board.

“Dark star” of recycling expected to feed into proposed Metro Van incinerator

Avid waste reducers and recyclers in the Lower Mainland will want to read this recent article on the continuing incinerator saga!

Helen Spiegelman – well known recycling advocate and former Executive Director at Recycling Council of British Columbia also raises some concerns over Multi Material BC’s ‘Printed Paper and Packaging’ program slated to start in May 2014.

Will materials coming through this latest Printed Paper and Packaging stewardship program be used as fuel for the incinerator?

A must read for those following the trash trail!

 

Mike Chisholm – Feb 27th, 2014

http://www.vancouverobserver.com/news/dark-star-recycling-expected-feed-proposed-metro-van-incinerator

 

Collaborative Consumption and The Sharing Economy

Earlier in February I was excited to attend a talk at the HiVE by April Rinne, Chief Strategy Officer of Collaborative Lab, on “Collaborative Consumption and The Sharing Economy” presented by an amazing collection of local businesses and organizations (Board of Change, VanCity, Modo, the Sharing Project, and CityStudio to name a few…)SHARINGeconomy 3

“Also known as collaborative consumption and the collaborative economy, the Sharing Economy is the bartering, exchanging, sharing, renting, trading, borrowing, lending, leasing and swapping of goods, services, time, capital, experiences and space by individuals, institutions, businesses and communities.”(Vanessa Timmer)  Sharing resources means spending less – time, money, energy, natural resources, etc.

I hadn’t put much thought into the sharing economy before, but as the talk progressed I realized just how large a piece of my life and work were integrated into this new economic model Continue reading…

Trash Talk: Reading between the lines – ‘One Bag Does Not Fit All’

We recyclers need to read between the lines when we hear people waxing on the wonders of Materials Recovery Facilities (MRF’s) and the fact that these systems are a viable alternative to good old, tried and true source separation.

Proponents of MRF’s suggest that with these systems, residents will be able to throw all their waste – recyclables, composting and garbage – into one big bag. Once at the MRF these bags will be opened and all the valuable recyclables retrieved for diversion.

What supporters of these systems sometimes fail to mention, is that once the recyclables have been mixed in with everything else, especially wet waste and compost, very little of it is good enough or clean enough to be shipped to recycling markets.

Recycling paper mills do not want the paper, as it is of very low quality once contaminated with shards of glass or food, and few compost facilities want the wet material, as it is not of a standard to re-enter the agricultural cycle.

Keeping the streams separate and clean (as they are when we buy them in product lines on the shelf at the store!) is the best way to ensure these materials will go to recycling markets. This is called source separation and it is they key to maintaining high recovery and robust recycling markets.

When reading articles such as this, on the merits of throwing recycling, composting and garbage into the same bag – we need to ask 2 questions:

  1. What % of materials going through a MRF go to recycling markets and what % goes to landfill?
  2. What is the quality of the recycling markets – are these materials turned into more product with high recovery value or considerably downgraded?

And let’s keep in mind – we already have the ‘one bag solution’ – it’s called garbage collection and it’s exactly what the region is trying to move away from in our efforts to get to 70% diversion and Zero Waste.

http://www.vancouverobserver.com/environment/big-companies-and-big-money-squaring-over-480m-incineration-plan?page=0,0

Trash Talk: Is there an alternative to the Burnaby incinerator?

As a company focused on recycling and waste diversion, we at Recycling Alternative are very encouraged to see municipal mayors standing up for source separation of recycling to ensure best practices highest recovery of these materials.

As Mayor Brodie points out, residents already understand separating and rightfully sorting recycling for their weekly collection: ‘homeowners take out the cardboard, newspaper, plastics, and we have had that program in place in Metro Vancouver for at least 20 years, and a reason for that, we believe that if you have source separation for your recycling and your organics, then the quality is the best if it’s separated at the source as opposed to being separated later.”

What many residents may not know, is that once materials are mixed together their value for recycling markets is considerably decreased and downgraded –in such cases, these fine recyclables end up in the landfill, as they are too contaminated for the recycling markets.

As Mayor Brodie rightly suggests, any collection system with a goal to true diversion and recovery, must have ‘separation at the source’.

Burnaby Now – January 24, 2014
Is there an alternative to the Burnaby incinerator?
Stefania Seccia

http://www.burnabynow.com/news/is-there-an-alternative-to-the-burnaby-incinerator-1.801287

 

Source Separation helps municipality increase Diversion rates

Great to see increasing diversion success in Guelph – adding organics to their current source separation program added a 19%+ diversion to their current rates, jumping them up to almost 70%.

Aiming to hit targets of 70% by 2015 –Metro municipalities can look to success stories like Guelph and others, where source separation ensures clean recycling streams and highest possible recovery.

As the Metro Vancouver region is currently engaged in discussion around best practices and optimal models for recycling, it is encouraging to see that many other municipalities focused on diversion are sticking to source separation.

See Nicole’s comments in her blog post, another local recycling company supporting best practices for diversion and recovery.

Nicole Stefenelli @ Urban Impact: Guelph achieves 67% waste diversion

Solid Waste Magazine: Guelph tops waste diversion ranking: WDO

 

 

Zero Waste Conference

Last Wednesday, Metro Van held its annual Zero Waste conference yesterday with the theme of ‘re-thinking our waste’.

The conference focused on 2 areas:

  1. Cradle to Cradle design and innovation for a circular, closed loop economy
  2. The problem of food waste, both ‘pre-consumer’ (i.e. food that expires or we throw out before it gets to our plates) and ‘post-consumer’ ( i.e. prep remnants, plate scraping and leftovers) for Metro’s 2015 food scrap bans in the landfill

Keynote speakers included Dame Ellen MacArthur Continue reading…

Trash Talk #11 – Dr Braungart

BoC Dr Braungart 2Last night, on the eve of Metro Vancouver Zero Waste Conference (www.metrovancouver.org/zwc) , the Board of Change (www.boardofchange.com ) hosted a Round Table conversation with the German chemist turned ‘Cradle to Cradle’ prophet, co-founder of EPEA (Environmental Protection Encouragement Agency (www.epea-hamburg.org), co-author of Re-making The Way We Make Things, and keynote speaker at Metro’s 2013 Zero Waste conference, Dr. Michael Braungart.

It was a close up conversation, with room for only 40 Board of Change members to attend. Continue reading…