What a Successful 2021 Looks like

For Ethical Waste Services a successful 2021 depends on three things. Company growth, donations, and ensuring everyone stays safe and employed amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. 

In the next year 2021 we plan on having all of our divisions grow, starting by adding additional teams to our departments. We would really love to tackle bigger asbestos and demolition projects while also catering to our core clients!

We don’t know what the future holds but one thing is for sure. The support of our community is more important than ever and we will ensure that our support and donations continue to be of a high priority. 

We hope that you enjoy our social media posts with regular company updates, donations and projects’ before and afters. What we really miss is updating you on the in-person events and in-person connections we make with volunteers, nonprofit organizations and other companies. We really hope that we will be able to attend in-person fundraising events once again.

In the meantime, we will continue to attend virtual fundraising events and to engage with members of our community and the amazing partners we work with on our social media platforms.

Growth, charities and safety are what Ethical Waste Services strives to uphold and accomplish in the following year. 

Keep up with us by giving us a follow on our social media platforms and see our Transformation from cocoon to butterfly in 2021.


Reflecting on our year.

As a business looking to grow and expand our furthest horizons we’re always reflecting. Asking ourselves; what did we do last year that we’re proud of and what can we improve? Where was most of our time spent? Where do we want to spend our time in the future and does that bring us closer to our ultimate goal?

The last fiscal year was unpredictable and full of major changes. Our #1 priority was to stay on track with our work and keep everyone safe while delivering the quality service that our company is known for. Of course, one of the biggest highlights of our year was that we managed to keep busy, ensuring that everyone stayed employed during these turbulent times.

This also kept us on track with our annual donations. Thanks to the hard work of all of our employees, Covid-19 didn’t slow us down and we were able to donate over $45,000 in donations to ACCESS Youth Outreach Services, Backpack Buddies and our own Douglas College – Ethical Waste Services’ Bursary. The not-for-profit sector provides an invaluable service in our community to ensure a better future for our younger generations. And that’s something we’ll always strive to uphold!

As far as time goes, the construction business and the real estate market were booming last year, which naturally reflected on our work load. The majority of our time was spent on demolition and asbestos abatement projects. When you’re stuck inside 24/7 a good renovation can feel wonderful!

Naturally, our asbestos testing division was also very busy ensuring that any potential asbestos hazards encountered by residents or contractors are dealt with safely and preferably by us!

Our drywall removal and construction debris removal divisions were closely behind. Vancouver’s housing market is always rising as more and more people move here and our cities expand giving us tons of drywall and construction debris to recycle!

Perhaps our proudest moment of 2020 was that we were able to keep our whole crew employed allowing them to keep food on the table and avoid CERB tax returns! With the pandemic still lurking around we will remain cautious in 2021 and stay the course by working hard and delivering the quality of service that we’re known for. We will continue to provide a safe environment for our employees and customers.


Employee Introduction: Terra Chaplin

Hello everyone, my name’s Terra and I’m the Team Lead of the Drywall Removal division at Ethical Waste Services. Raven, our office admin (who normally writes all of these blogs) asked me some great questions about myself. She asked me who my biggest influences are, my goals for the next year, some of my favorite pieces of advice and finally what keeps me motivated during my most pressing times.

I’d say someone I really look up to is Annie Clark or more commonly known as St. Vincent. I just wish I could harvest her creative and wild antics. She’s an insane guitar player and her albums are so different from each other. Which is something I don’t think people realize is extremely hard to do. Creativity is a powerful thing and I’d love to channel hers!

Something I really want to do in the next year, that I’ve never done before is tour the States with my band. We had everything booked for last May and then the world got shut down with the emergence of Covid-19. I haven’t traveled that much so seeing the States in its entirety would be really exciting for me.

Something that’s always stuck with me, and I think actually really helps me when I’m dealing with things that stress me out, whether it’s a big financial decision I have to make or even something to do with school is that I always try to hope for the best, but expect the worst.

Honestly, when things get really rough and I’m going through a hard day I just try my best to laugh things off. I’d like to think that I’m very good at turning a situation or even how I feel about somebody being rude to just a ridiculous thing that I can laugh about in my head. So I’d definitely say that humor really gets me through a lot. A laugh can go a long way!

I hope this helps you get to know me a little better and if you ever run into me on a job site, definitely give me a shout and we can talk about Annie Clark’s insane guitar skills! 


The Story of Ethical Waste Services

For some of you reading this, it mat not be news ,but for those of you who don’t know how Ethical Waste Services became the company that it is today we’d like to share our story.  

The Story of Ethical Waste Services Ltd starts with the tale of one man – Paul MacDonald. Paul is the creator, owner, and operations manager of Ethical Waste Services. His story began when he was a youth feeling like an outcast among his peers. Without the proper guidance Paul eventually turned to drugs and alcohol abuse to numb his pain.

Then his first child was born and Paul began to learn to care for himself by caring for his daughter. He started to understand that he could make a difference for the youth that sit in the same boat he once did. So, he set out to be a teacher. He thought he could provide kids with the guidance and mentorship they deserve while also teaching them a thing or two. In 2014 Paul graduated with a math & PE degree from SFU. Then the massive teacher strike hit and Paul realized that becoming a teacher would be seemingly difficult.

With his drive to make a difference in the lives of youth, the strike didn’t stop him. Instead, Paul would put all of his time and focus into his drywall removal and asbestos abatement company – Ethical Waste Services Ltd. He decided he would donate 50% of his yearly profits to youth outreach services and on top of that he’d help youth through his business by hiring them, being their mentor and giving them the chances they deserve.

Ethical Waste Services Ltd. grew from a one man operation for drywall removal services to a 12 employee business offering contractors “one stop shop” services such as drywall removal, construction debris removal, demolitions and asbestos abatement.

You can have a listen from Paul himself right here. He’s been sharing his journey at speaking events for years in the hopes of inspiring his peers and the youth in our community.


Putting the “Ethical” in Ethical Waste Services

Cleverly implied by our name, we do really care about being as ethical and Eco-friendly as possible. That’s why we recycle, donate and care. Every piece of drywall that we remove is brought to New West Gypsum. One of the only drywall recycling facilities in Canada and the only one in B.C.

It’s hard to believe that we alone recycled enough drywall in one year to make two and a half of these statues. Imagine what all the drywall in the world weighs.

On average we recycle about 150 Tonnes of drywall a month. Roughly the same weight as a very large blue whale. Just to give you an idea about how hard our employees work, here is a table with how much drywall we recycled each month and a weight comparison.


We were also able to get rid of a ton of garbage. It can truly be mind boggling to think about how many things our planet consumes and how much waste we create as a by product. Which is why we need to always be mindful of what we are throwing away. Ask yourself, Can this be reused, recycled or put into a compost bin?

Imagine 250 of these things staring at you… No thanks.


It’s a little harder for us to see how much wood we were able to recycle as we don’t get weighed when we drive in. But, we do keep track of how many times we’ve gone to the wood dump and how much wood our trucks can carry. This year we were able to recycle 87 truck loads of wood or roughly 174 tonnes.

It’s super encouraging and reassuring to know that we only have to do that 9,0000 more times in order to recycle the Golden State Bridge in Wood scrap.

Here’s what that looks like:


Every year these numbers get larger and larger, this doesn’t only tell us that we are constantly growing and getting more work done, but it also reminds us of the importance of our business. As B.C is constantly expanding more people are coming in and more housing is being built. A bi-product of that is all of those people’s waste. We all need to do our part in trying to preserve and/or reuse as much of that waste as possible to help sustain our Earth and economy.

Thank you for doing the right thing and choosing Ethical Waste Services. 


Fulfilling our promise of support in 2020

This year has been very difficult for just about everyone on the planet and one of the biggest industries that’s had to cut huge corners is the event planning and hosting industry. Without events it becomes seemingly difficult to organize fundraisers and create an impact to help raise awareness for charities and causes of any kind.

Luckily enough we live in a digital world where billions of people use internet services daily. Because of this, we’ve been able to shrink the world by a vast margin and make distance nearly irrelevant. Given the rules on Social distancing this becomes extremely valuable for organizations, charities and businesses that require people to congregate.

Our involvement with ACCESS Youth Outreach Services is not only a big part of our company culture but it’s also part of our Identity. We are extremely proud to be a sponsor and a helping hand in creating a better future for marginalized youth. Giving them the opportunities they deserve continues to inspire us to work harder year after year.

As we all learnt to adapt to our new circumstances we were very pleased to find out that Access Youth and other organizations would be doing everything in their power to turn their fundraisers virtual to be able to continue to full-fill their mission. 

The Backpack Buddies Cooking for A Cause virtual cooking class hosted by Chef Trevor Bird was an amazing experience. Not only were we a proud sponsor of this event. We were also able to help BackPackBuddies deliver food to homes prior to the event and we got to make some killer food as well. I mean check out this delicious meal and definitely check out Chef Trevor Birds restaurant Fable Kitchen in Vancouver.

Chef Trevor Bird taught us new cooking skills that we never would’ve known otherwise. And we were able to spend valuable time with our family while supporting a great cause. Plus, who doesn’t love a fancy home cooked meal every once in a while? 

Aside from cooking amazing meals all the time. There’s something else that made our year incredibly special. Despite all of the obstacles in everyone’s way, we were able to come together and adapt to our circumstances allowing us to continue working. Through the valiant efforts and hard work of all of our staff, our customers and our peers we were able to donate $40,346 to ACCESS Youth Outreach Services.

We were also fortunate enough to participate and help with a few socially distanced fundraisers as well.

We continue to contribute $2,000 each year to our own Ethical Waste Services Bursary to support the financial needs of two Douglas College students who are enrolled in programs that focus on working with youth-at-risk. The recipients must be enrolled in Child & Youth Care, Youth Justice or Social Work. 

We donated some art supplies to Access Youth’s Art Journaling Program. They help youth express themselves and their views on the world by supplying them with art supplies and encouraging them to create whatever their hearts desire. Topics are addressing expressions of their beliefs and anxieties, learning about boundaries and healthy relationships.

Our most recent fundraiser contribution was towards the Movember 2020 campaign. When Twin Lions Contracting (A longtime client of ours) reached out to us with an invitation to their team’s #Movember fundraiser, we couldn’t decline the opportunity to help. Advocating for men’s mental health is extremely important and is truly a great cause. This is just another way to connect, collaborate, and support a charitable cause with a company that shares the same values as us.

We are extremely excited to continue to adapt to the newest regulations enforced by the pandemic so that we can continue to support those in need. We hope to see more events being held as we continue to fight Covid-19 and get everyone vaccinated. 

Finally, a huge thank you to all of our valued partners and customers for helping us make this possible by using our services. 


Asbestos and renovations


With the real estate market rebounding, we have seen a lot of people moving into their new homes and investing in renovations. Some of the renovations might come with a little surprise, especially if the homes are 1990 or older. There is a high chance that some of the materials in your home might contain asbestos. If you decide to do any upgrades to your home, approach the renovation with caution and please take into consideration the following:


  • Consult a reputable and a trusted contractor such as Ethical Waste Services Ltd. and have your home tested for asbestos prior to start. Keep your home and your family safe. 


  • Many people think that a DIY job will save them money. It might be the case in some situations but not in all. Make a plan, be proactive and diligent. Asbestos is a hazardous material and if it’s not handled properly can cause damage to health. Professionals know how to handle and remove asbestos safely. 


  • Try to keep your expenses on budget considering a 10% plus or minus. This will allow you to cover some unexpected expenses to solve unforeseen problems.


  • Consider reusing some of the material you currently have. When updating a counter, the flooring or light fixtures consider buying from a second hand shop. Many places such as Habitat for Humanity carry incredible inventory that you can utilize in your project! Not only you are helping the environment but you are also giving back.


By maintaining and upkeeping your home, you are caring for your investment. Your home should be a safe place to live and laugh.


Our legacy in 2019

This year was full of surprises, challenges, highs, lows and everything in between. We are proud to say that we continue to fulfill our company’s mission of creating an opportunity and support for marginalized youth through a socially impactful business model. We are completing another successful year! We kept our hopes & expectations high and we worked hard. With only a few days left in 2019, things are slowly wrapping up and the holidays are fast approaching.   

We’d like to reflect on how Ethical Waste Services positively impacted the lives of others and how we contributed to our community. 


We started the year with a bang when we were awarded the title of an Environmental Steward at the Business Excellence Awards hosted by the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce.

The same month, Paul was invited to tell his life story on stage in front of a crowd of Voice Story, talking about overcoming shame and becoming the real him.


In March we connected again and worked closely with the Tri-Cities Friends of Refugees group helping renovate yet another home for one of the refugee families in need. We didn’t hesitate to help when it meant that another family will be provided with a safe home and an opportunity to have a better life.


As part of our daily routine we get calls from our customers to get rid of their commercial junk. We try our best to donate the items that are in good condition and can be reused. This year we have continued to work with Habitat for Humanity. We drop off any gently used household items that can be sold for a fair price or used in another home. We manage to avoid few loads from the landfill, trying to save the planet one load at a time. 

In April we made our yearly committed donation of 50% of our profits ($22,000) to Access Youth Outreach Services to support their programs to help youth in our community. Paul continues to volunteer on the ACCESS Bus to keep connecting with the ACCESS staff and the youth in our community.  

We started the summer as a title sponsor for the Backpack Buddies Coquitlam Crunch event. Spreading awareness in our community helped this non-profit to reach more schools and students in the Tri-Cities area and provide food packages to children in need. We also volunteered with Backpack Buddies at the Coquitlam Centre in August. Backpack Buddies invited the community to pack 500 backpacks to ease the burden of weekend hunger for kids in our community. It was yet another successful event.  

August ended on a sad note with a close family member’s sudden death. Andrea had to take a last minute trip back home to say goodbye to her dad. Life has its ups and downs…and it throws at us some unexpected events. In the end it’s the family and friends that surround us and that help us get through the hard time. Cherish every minute!  


The truly spectacular Under the Seas Gala fundraiser for Access Youth Outreach Services happened in September. It was an evening filled with heartfelt stories and so much support for at risk youth. Paul was awarded a “Hero Award” for his passion, dedication and support of ACCESS. A week later we were off to the Backpack Buddies’ Food 4 Thought annual fundraiser. 

These incredible organizations are making a huge difference in the lives of youth and young children. We, at Ethical Waste Services, are committed to support them both on their missions. 


The fall also marked our 3rd donation to Douglas College Foundation. Our Ethical Waste Services Bursary has been lifting a financial burden for some students at Douglas College and giving them an opportunity and chance to complete their studies.  We continue to believe that we can make a difference in someone’s life by giving them a chance. Paul was also invited to give an inspirational talk at a Douglas College event where he shared stories about his own studies at Douglas College and how it helped him to get where he is now.  

November and December have been fast and tough but we are determined to finish strong.

Our daughter Nicole enrolled in a program with Build a Biz Kids and became an entrepreneur herself. She created her own business and learned about all the ins and outs of running a real business. It is so fulfilling to see her grow her entrepreneurial mindset. One of the very first decisions she made as an entrepreneur was to donate 50% of her profits. By selling her ice-cream cone cupcakes, she was able to donate $40 to Backpack Buddies allowing 4 children to get food for the weekend. We could not be prouder. 

Build a Biz Kids

We are ending the year with another sad note. Paul’s dad passing on December 16th will be forever engraved in our memory. Paul got to spend the last few days with his dad which we are all very grateful for. We lost both Grandpa’s in a very short time this year. We will miss them dearly.

Nevertheless, we are optimistic that 2020 will be an incredible year of learning, helping, growing and living intensely.

Ethical Waste Services’s vision is to live in a world where businesses value people over profit; Creating a global society full of compassion, empathy and quality for everyone. 

Giving back is our mandate. Our company and our family live by it. 


We can all make a difference. 

Thank you for supporting us and we look forward to working with you next year!!


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

All the Best in the New Year 2020!

The Ethical Waste Services team


Use of PPE when dealing with asbestos abatement

Spring time is the season when contractors get busy with their demolition, construction or renovation projects.

It is also our busiest time dealing with asbestos abatement projects.

What happens when we get a call regarding drywall removal or demolition?

1.- We ask when the house/condo was built.

2.- If  older than 1984 it is mandatory that it is tested for asbestos.

3.- We provide full service from testing to disposal of asbestos.

We have previously explained what is asbestos and why it represents a hazardous health risk.

We take this matter very seriously and our staff is especially trained to deal with this material.

PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) including respirators and protective clothing is essential in controlling and protecting our staff from exposure to asbestos.

Protective Clothing:

  • Made of a material that resists penetration by asbestos fibres.
  • Covers the body and fits snugly at the neck, wrists, and ankles.
  • Covers the head.
  • Covers the feet.
  • Can be immediately repaired or replaced if torn.

Before an asbestos abatement work begins, a risk assessment process is done and it establishes whether the work involves low, moderate or high risk activity.

In most cases, workers must use respirators during all stages of a project in which the risk of exposure to airborne asbestos fibres exists or could develop.

Respiratory protection:

There are two categories: air-purifying respirators or air-supplying respirators (disposable respirators are NOT acceptable).

It is crucial to select an appropriate respirator based on anticipated airborne asbestos concentrations for the job!

Proper operation and fit:

We provide fit testing when our staff first uses the equipment and it is mandatory to yearly fit test the respirator (seal check) and record the results.

There are 2 types of fit testing: qualitative and quantitative.

Other PPE equipment that we require in our work sites are:

  • Goggles
  • Hearing protection
  • Hard hat
  • Steel toe shoes

Our staff and our customers are always our priority when it comes to dealing with asbestos abatement projects.

Ethical Waste Services is specialist in asbestos removal and we will take care of the whole process from testing to safe disposal!


(Source: WorkSafeBC)



Why does it make sense to be a Social Enterprise

Have you heard about “the generation that’s interested in making a positive impact?”

If you are a forward thinking company wanting to hire and keep the best young employees, you need to pay attention!

Today’s young people are as concerned with making a positive impact in the world as they are with making money, 94% want to use their skills to benefit a cause. 

What can you do as a business owner?

Try to engage in authentic philanthropy that ties most directly to your areas of expertise. Offer your employees the opportunity to volunteer in causes they believe in.

Volunteerism will enrich your employees lives, help them gain different skills and offer them the opportunity to feel part of their community while making a difference.

Employee volunteering is an important aspect of community investment!

In addition, consumers are more attuned with companies whose values align with their own. They are very well informed, knowledgeable and in need to connect with businesses that are socially responsible.

If you are ready to explore this valuable business model it is important to create clearly-defined company policies on giving and volunteering to attract and retain young talent. Be ready to tell your story and be ready to tap into higher business values!

Ethical Waste Services is proud to be part of the social enterprise movement, we truly believe that together we can:

  • Improve our communities
  • Offer more opportunities to our future generations and
  • Take care of our environment

We hope to influence more businesses to take this path.