And like a herd with a mission, we don’t stop at recycling just concrete. We also take care of a variety of other waste streams. Our recycling contractor, called Happy Stan (believe it or not), is a pioneer in the Vancouver recycling world. Recycling day at Solus looks like a science experiment gone mad, and he takes things and finds a way to recycle things that no one else would know what to do with!
One again our summer student Sam became a super sleuth. Sam tracked down and digitally recorded our recycling efforts and came up with the following:
At Solus, other waste streams that get recycled include plastics, wood pallets and wood scraps, metals, paper and cardboard, electronic bits and bobs. Here is what they get turned into.
PLASTIC: Is separated into types and sent to appropriate recycling depots. It will either be consolidated with more plastic of its type so it can be sold to a recycling facility that handles that specific plastic. Recycled plastic is formed into little plastic pellets that can be sold to various plastics manufacturers for a variety of applications – depending on the plastic and manufacturer e.g. bottles, containers, carpet, fiberfill for clothing, pillows, sleeping bags, lumber, pipe, park benches, railroad ties.
WOOD: Clean wood will be delivered to a wood recycler and can get ground up into mulch and sold for various applications such landscaping, or fuel.
METAL: Metals are separated and sent to various metal recyclers, who then consolidate it, and then it is sent to various smelters. The smelter will in turn be able to sell the metal to manufacturers, who can produce various products with this recycled metal.
PAPER AND CARDBOARD: Paper and cardboard are separated and delivered to a paper recycling facility. Materials are consolidated and sent it to a paper recycling plant to make recycled paper and cardboard.
We don’t have any mathematics to determine how much we have recycled beyond concrete over the last number of years, but it is significant.
We do take some solace that even small manufacturing company like Solus can make a difference on our environmental footprint.
Next time we’ blog about the concrete we use, and how designing with concrete is sustainable in the long run.
Researched by Sam Carpenter, edited by Martes at Solus.