Festival Season in Mid-Flight!

Here at RA we are mid-way through our busy, sunny and this year very HOT festival season.

We usually mark this halfway point with the arrival of FOLKFest in mid-July, by most Vancouverites, considered the mother of all the city’s outdoor festivals.

So far, this festival season RA has donated and/or provided trashbusting services, signage, bags and recycling stations to:

  • Sakura Days – April 5-6
  • Youth for Climate Justice Now –Earth Day celebration April 21
  • Brittania Stone Soup Festival – May 10-11 Continue reading…

Debate over Multi Materials BC, Printed Paper and Packaging rages on

No exaggeration – as per our earlier posts on Multi Materials BC – the debate around Printed Paper and Packaging is just getting louder.

You cannot open a local newspaper these days without coming face to face with headlines on the upcoming May legislation around Multi-Materials BC’s (MMBC) stewardship program for Printed Paper and Packaging (PPP).

The debate has been going for over 4 years within the industry, both producers (i.e. Canadian Newspaper Association) and recyclers alike, but it’s nothing like the poker hot polemic currently underway in the newspapers, op ed’s and advertising space, as the May 19 implementation day draws nearer. Continue reading…

Around the World #2

Frozen Recycling – Canada / Australia

As a newbie to this country and therefore Recycling Alternative, the differences between Australia and Canada are very interesting to this little waste enthusiast. The most interesting to me so far (as I am sure there will be more to come) is the curbside recycling collection.

Firstly, the blue box system was originally Picture 006strange to me, especially the separation of the paper into the yellow bag, and those blue boxes. Not strange as it makes complete sense from a recycling perspective keeping the paper clean, more so that the contents of the bags and blue boxes are exposed to the elements (ahem, do I mention the rain?), and those apparent Coyotes and Raccoon’s Continue reading…

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

 

Less is more in the recycling business

VanCity Investing in Communities – Stories of Impact
Fall 2012

Source: https://www.vancity.com/AboutUs/InvestingInCommunities/Stories/Energy/Recycling/

Some businesses seek to fill the world with their products. But for Recycling Alternative it’s all about getting to zero—zero waste, that is.

More than 20 years ago, Robert Weatherbe offered his friend Louise Schwarz some help to advance her passion for recycling. Today, he and Louise co-own of one of Canada’s most creative recycling companies, Recycling Alternative. Continue reading…

Going car-free with the BC Scrap-It Program

I love my car. Really.

I learned to drive in this car. I moved away to university in this car. I met my husband because he liked my bumper sticker. It’s driven over 200,000 kms, carried dozens of rugby girls covered in mud, and traveled to more parts of this province than most people have probably seen. It’s been towed, ferried, and flooded.

And now I’m scrapping it.

The decision to scrap the car was a tough one. I’ve been debating it for years, but always found an excuse not to. I love the convenience of my car.

It still runs fine! Sure I’ll admit it has transmission problems and costs me a ton to maintain, but I’ve always convinced myself it’s worth it. It’s just that every year (and every major repair) makes it harder to believe. So I’ve decided Continue reading…

Around the World #1

Touring and Trashbusting Abroad

As we draw to the end of the summer season, leaving holidays behind for the collective migration back to autumnal obligations of the office, the boardroom, council chambers and, of course, school, it’s an opportune time to visit trashbusting efforts abroad.

A sort of Trashbusting Travel-log to close the dog day month of August. Continue reading…

Festivals and Events – best practices to reduce and recycle

As we hit the mid-point of the summer season, (weather notwithstanding this year!), and the zenith of festival-mania in Vancouver, it’s a good time to re-visit some of the tried and true benchmarks for guaranteeing your community event comes up clean and green in terms of its waste reduction and diversion efforts!

Over the last 20 years Recycling Alternative has gained a reputation for working closely with countless community events and festival organizers to collaborate, guide, educate and help implement robust recycling at various public events Vancouverites have come to associate with summer in our city.

Here are our TOP TRASHBUSTING TIPS for ensuring your event walks the talk by setting a high waste diversion standard that organizers and participants alike can be proud of when measuring the environmental impact of your celebration. Continue reading…

Trouble with trash leads YWCA award winner to become sustainability leader

BC Hydro News
June 29, 2012

Sourcehttp://www.bchydro.com/news/conservation/2012/ywca-award-winner.html

“Every so often in life, something hits you in the head like a ton of bricks,” says Louise Schwarz, founding partner of Vancouver-based Recycling Alternative, explaining the epiphany that led her to develop some of Vancouver’s most innovative green community solutions.

In 1989, Louise was visiting a friend in Seattle and was amazed by their advances in recycling. It might seem strange Continue reading…