social enterprise

social enterprise

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

social enterprise

Community Involvement

Planning is an essential part for business growth. It’s a meticulous analysis of the methods that worked and the ones that didn’t. It is a review of the paths that take us the right direction and closer to our yearly goals.

Paul MacDonald meets twice a year with a group of like-minded entrepreneurs. Each business owner reviews their past 6 months in business and sets a strategic plan for the next half  year. They  share their successes and issues with other Breakthrough Academy members. Together they collaborate, solve problems and help each other with suggestions to move forward. This invaluable feedback helps Ethical Waste Services foster successful growth and helps to achieve annual goals.

Part of Ethical Waste Services’ strategic plan is the review of community involvement and donations to achieve the social enterprise side of the business.

One of the organizations that we support, is Douglas College Foundation who  assists up to 2,000 students annually with the generosity and support of their donors. The Foundation expands educational opportunities for students by supporting scholarships, awards and bursaries, while expanding funding beyond classroom experiences.

A student who was awarded a bursary that was funded by Ethical Waste Services, wrote a heartwarming message:

“Dear Douglas College Scholarship and Bursary Selection Committee. I would like to thank you for rewarding me a Douglas College Student Aid Fund Bursary & the Ethical Waste Services Bursary in the amount of $1,200 dollars for the winter semester of 2018. I am very grateful for the help and support that I have received for this semester. Your contribution has lessen the burden and eased certain challenges that occured in my time at Douglas College. I will maintain my GPA and contribute back to my community and thank you once again for your help. I hope you will consider me for future bursaries and grants in upcoming semesters.

Sincerely, J.M.”

This is why we keep supporting this organization with the focus of  helping students to be their better selves, learn to become critical thinkers and contribute positively in their communities.

social enterprise

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.

social enterprise

Our intention this year

Year over year we trick ourselves at setting unattainable resolutions that we think we can achieve but realistically are not going to happen. Why do we chose this first day of the year to set new resolutions? It is actually the darkest time of the year in the norther hemisphere, weather is cold and wet, business is usually slow after the spending craze during the holidays. And yet, we still want to commit to new ideas that are probably not close to our hearts.

What if we changed the word from resolution to intention?

It sounds more positive to aim for a plan that we have carefully crafted that will help us get to the next level. Whatever the focus of this intention, it will be held by a creative power that we have visualized.

Our intention this year is to live by our Mission and Vision statements


To create opportunity  and support  for marginalized youth through a socially impactful business model.  


To live in a world where businesses  value people over profit. Creating a global society full of compassion, empathy  and equality for everyone.

It’s very important to remind ourselves why we do what we do. It helps us remember the motivation that originally triggered setting up our business. It allows us to see the light past the challenges  that come our way.

We are excited about 2018, it will be a year of personal and business growth. We are aiming high and we couldn’t do it without the support of our community, our customers, our mentors and of course our amazingly dedicated staff !

What are your intentions this year?

social enterprise

Becoming a Social Enterprise

Ethical Waste Services is a small waste removal company in the Lower Mainland but, oh so much more than that. We are a social enterprise. We believe in green. We believe that people are more important than profits. And we practice what we preach.

As a troubled teen I found myself lost and confused in a stream of drugs. I was fortunate enough to have parents that supported me in any way they could, because of them, I was able to pull myself out of the hole I had dug. I believe that if more youth had the support system that I had, there would be less at-risk youth in the world.

As an adult, I knew I wanted to help youth and decided that teaching was the best way to achieve my goal. After an 11-year journey, I received my Bachelors of Education and Teaching Certificate from SFU. As they say, timing is everything. Teachers were on strike and it was next to impossible to find a job. At the time, I was working on my drywall business and complaining about the companies that bring in tons of money with no give back. That’s when I had my epiphany. I could turn my company into a social enterprise.

The next step was to find the right organization. The charity needed to meet the following criteria:

  • Grassroots organization
  • Helped youth
  • Received no government funding
  • Opportunity to personally work with youth
  • Opportunity to sit on the Board of Directors

I came across an article in the paper, about ACCESS Youth and their bus that drives to where youth are in the Tri-Cities. After meeting with Jerome Bouvier, Director of ACCESS and taking a ride on the bus, I understood the impact that this program has on the youth in the Tri-Cities community.

We need to pass on the message that people are more important than profits and it’s our responsibility as a community to look after one another. My hope is to encourage other businesses to follow my business model and to donate a portion of their profits at the end of the year.

We donate 50% of our profits to local not-for-profit ACCESS Youth Outreach Services ( Our goal for 2015 is to donate $17,000. Help us, help them. Book Ethical Waste Services to remove your waste, drywall and asbestos.