More Condo’s and Coffee Shops creeping east of Main onto Industrial Lands

Every few years, attention and urban-planning talk turns yet again to the industrial lands known as the Southeast False Creek Flats – the area from Main to Clark, between Prior/Venables and 2nd Avenue.

If this weekend’s Globe & Mail is anything to go by, it looks like ‘every few years’ is just about now.

And ‘just about now’ is when local, industrial businesses such as Recycling Alternative and many of our ‘groovy and gritty’ neighbours located in this area, start to get worried about protecting industrial land (or what’s left of it) against the great urban squeeze.

With 4 acres of the Great Northern Way campus being sold for residential development and artist live work space, it looks like we’ll be getting something Vancouver really needs, more condo’s and coffee shops. 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

 

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…

Trash Talk #12 – Ditching Dumpsters for Livable Laneways

What’s wrong with this picture?

This is what the dumpsters that regularly occupy the lanes immediately west of Main St between 7th and Broadway, look like when you bring them all together for a big community party!  We were on-site at the Autumn Shift Festival this weekend to provide recycling for a great community event, but instead found ourselves surrounded by dumpsters.

Autumn Shift 9

If you care to count, there are 14 of them occupying 2 short lanes servicing just a handful of businesses. In the daily lives of BIA business members and the public living and shopping in the area, they present an uninviting
landscape in what could otherwise be a beautiful Livable Laneway!

These trashy eyesores are common fare in our city lanes (and in some cases, on our side walks).

Beyond being an undesirable blemish on public spaces that groups like Liveable Laneways would like to banish, in their efforts to transform, animate and re-claim these lanes for public use and interaction, these ‘one size fits all’ dumpsters can be a detriment to recycling, and undermine Continue reading…

Scrapping Food at the PNE!

Another roller coaster riding, mini donut filled fortnight of fun has drawn to a close at PNE 2013.

In addition to the usual suspects – rides –animals -prize homes –great music acts and the ever entertaining slice’em dice’em market place vendors, food always plays a major roll at the PNE, from candied apples and cotton candy to corn on the cob.

This year though, there was a big difference on the food front ….in terms of waste that is!

Recycling Alternative was thrilled to be included in Vancity’s ECO ALLEY  to demo our state of the art on-site composting machines.

Green Good Composters provide one of the best on-site solutions for food waste. The technology works on microbiology and heat. The microbes are similar to the ones found in deep sea vents and love to feast on food waste in a hot environment. The result is significant reduction in volume of food waste as well as the nasty smells and sloppy mess that can accompany food waste.

The machines have proven a popular and successful option for a number of local restaurants, hotels and supermarkets.

Green Good Composters come in a number of sizes designed to match the various volumes a home or business might generate.

Apartment residents love the GG02, which processes up to 2 kg’s per day, the average amount of food waste a Canadian family generates daily.

Larger generators of food waste such as restaurants, hotels, schools, hospitals, supermarkets and food courts can choose from a suite of the GG machine models (GG10, GG30, GG50, GG100, GG500) to best suit their needs and food waste volumes:

Site staff at the PNE used the GG100 over the 2 week fair and were so proud of the results, that they are now considering ways to introduce the machines across their year round operation to tackle and their food waste.

PNE 2013 3

Folk Festival 2013 – the results are in!

IMG_2418Another successful Folkfest has wrapped for the year and the numbers are in!

As many of our clients and TrashTalk readers know, Recycling Alternative and Folkfest have been partnering for over 15 years together to do some serious trashbusting and ensure the FolkFest’s trashprint is light on the planet and makes both organizers and festival goers alike feel great about being part of the solution!

Every year the Recycling Alternative and FolkFest Environment team meet in the weeks leading up  to prepare the waste reduction plan for the site.  Together our aim is to: Continue reading…