Friday, July 4, 2014

Interview with Gibsons Recycling Depot- Buddy

We recently spoke to Buddy from Gibsons Recycling Depot. This is our interview with him

Tell us a bit about your company?-
Started as Gibsons Disposal in 2001. I used to drive for Smithrite Disposal and during this time, I became concerned with throwing everything into landfills. I then started Gibsons Recycling Depot in 2003. Began to sort everything in our yard in 2003. Eventually added a store and began diverting the materials to a re-use store which opened up later We became the community recycling depot and morphed into on site processing about six years ago. We started glass aggregating about 3-4 years ago. Sell to people who make granite countertops, glass tables, etc. We have several employees that mine the waste stream before it goes to landfill.

Is there much competition?
Not really because it's labour intensive. Not going to get rich but it is connected to zero waste, sustainability and upcycling. It is about primarily managing waste, but this company is about reducing, reusing and recycling. Don’t look at anything as waste. Manage discarded waste and find new homes for them is a priority.

Do you have any advice for youth looking to go into a similar field
Start early. When i was 19,  I formed a chapter of S.T.O.P. (Society to Overcome Pollution) when i was in Montreal. Bank of Montreal started started one of the first social enterprises in Canada called the Bank of Montreal Youth Project. Bank of Montreal gave kids basic tools in 1970. Taught you to find something that you are passionate about and present it to class. I presented ideas on the environment.

Parents and grandparents aren’t gonna fix it. Up to students to get their hands dirty. I suggest that youth look at where we are living and impact on where we live based on how we treat finite resources. Previous generations have made it a challenge. Become active. Saving a planet is not a spectator sport and anyone can do it. Get active in government, resources, etc. Education is number one tool in turning this around. Think about what you want to do with your life. Easier to see something, harder to do something.

Internships/work experience?
-Hire kids out of school, mentor them on recycling and how to use machines. Inform them of how to recycle and why to recycle. Get brain wrapped around it is most important thing. Teach kids how to “raise the bar”

What does sustainability mean to you?
Look in a circular fashion. Sustainability starts with me and you. Look at where its made. Where food is made. What I can do to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

Do you think corporations and companies can work together?
Absolutely. Slowly turning. Lot of the large corporations have discovered terms like zero-waste. Many of them just hire PR and marketing firms to slather greenwash. Need products that have long term value, not plastic (only using one time and throwing it out).

Any last comments?-
Take the opportunity to be bold. Nobody is coming to do this for you.

Thanks to Buddy for taking part in this interview!




1 comment:

  1. Shaun. Thank you so much for the opportunity to share my journey with you. Participating in doing better, to become involved, does not limit us because of our age or knowledge. Environmentalism is not a spectator sport. One must be active. It can be something as simple as growing some food in a pot or backyard garden, or doing your own backyard composting. Do some different social media. I suck at that stuff but we made this YouTube video.

    Think small.

    “There may be some grand, sacrificial, heroic answers,
    but the best answers I know are almost trivial. Environmental problems are caused
    by billions of small, unthinking actions. They will be cured by billions of small, sensible actions, simple substitutions of environmentally conscious habits
    for the old thoughtless and wasteful ones”.
    -- Anonymous