Employee Introduction: Juan Pablo Garcia Aguado

Hi, my name is Juan Pablo Garcia Aguado or JP for short. I’m the Operations Manager here at Ethical Waste Services. I started working here just under a year ago and I’ve been able to learn so much. I’m excited to start a leadership role and take our team to new heights. 

I was thinking about who I admire for a while and It’s hard for me to pinpoint one person. It really varies depending on where I’m at in my life. I really admire my brother who moved to Germany 15 years ago. He’s made an amazing life for himself there and has really been thriving. I think his move is what really inspired me to come to Canada and change my life. I just wanted to pursue something different.

The journey to Canada has been amazing, but not easy. I don’t think anything in life is easy, I grew up with this idea that if you want something you need to fight for it. Nothing comes for free. The hardest part has been not seeing my extended family, and the lifestyle change. We were living a really good life in Mexico. We didn’t know anyone in Vancouver and didn’t know what life would be like out here. I left a lot behind and had to start from scratch. There’s just so many little things you don’t think about when moving to a new country. The culture shock was very intense at first. Your whole life changes. 

My dad is also someone that I really admire. He’s so kind and happy. He’s always laughing. I think I really see myself in him. I’d really like to mirror the Image that he puts out of himself.

One thing that I’ve never done and want to accomplish this year is a trip to Alaska. We don’t have very much ice or snow in Mexico so anything that has to do with the cold gets me and my family really excited. Especially winter sports! I know a lot of Vancouverites dread the cold, but we’re still enjoying it. For now… 

My best piece of advice would be to never give up. It’s a cliché, but it will never not be true. I really admire all the athletes in my age group that are still performing at peak levels. They’re going toe to toe with these young guys and I think that’s because of really healthy lifestyle choices. Something that’s easy to give up on. They’re very disciplined people in every area of their life. I’d like to be like that for my family. 

With that being said, of course my biggest ambition is to be a good father and to take care of my family, give them everything I can and prepare them for their future because I know it won’t be easy. This world is changing and I just want them to have a good life. 

Obviously my biggest motivation is also my kids. My kids have been the best decision of my life, the best and the hardest. I’m just so grateful for the opportunity to have twins, I know a lot of people would really love the opportunity to have twins. So I’m just really grateful. It’s been hard for me not to cry writing this to be honest. It’s double the trouble, but of course, double the love. 


Lets Learn: How to manage your plastic waste ethically

It often feels as if waste management is a grey area for people. There’s almost a sort of controversy around what can be recycled and what can’t, about what’s truly best for the environment and if all the small things we’re doing are even making a difference. Will the elimination of single use plastics really solve this global plastic pandemic?

While simple and potentially obvious, the only way to truly solve the issue is to slowly abandon the use of plastics in general. However, the accessibility and availability of single use plastics makes this effort extremely difficult. After all, going out of your way not to accumulate new plastics is easier said than done. 

Just think about all the times you go to the grocery store. The sheer volume of single use plastics in grocery stores makes reusable bags completely irrelevant. (Ironic, because that’s what’s always sold to us.) Now think about how much of your food is pre-wrapped or bagged in plastic. Berries come in containers, cereals and grains often come in plastics and meat and seafood have a Styrofoam base with a plastic wrap. And that’s not even the last few inches when it comes to talking about the tip of the iceberg within the plastic industry. Single use plastics aren’t just straws and grocery bags. They’ve become a part of our everyday life in every way. 

So what do we do? The unfortunate answer is there’s no easy way to do this. It’s all about being able to shift your lifestyle. For example: 

  • Keep reusable bags, metal straws, takeout containers and travel mugs for hot beverages in your car and keep reusing them.  
  • Be conscious of what products you’re consuming and how they’re packaged. There are companies that provide more environmentally friendly options such as Bulk Barn or Fulfill Shoppe in Port Moody. 
  • Sometimes you might have to give up on a certain product altogether. Things like frozen foods will always have plastic packaging.
  • Limiting your meat and seafood consumption may even play the biggest role in all of this. Did you know that fishing nets account for 41% – 70% of all of the plastic found in the ocean? Pretty scary right?  

We understand that some of these new habits call for dramatic lifestyle changes and we can’t, nor want to tell people how to live their lives. But applying even one of these changes can truly make a substantial difference if we all play our part.  

So next time you’re throwing something out think about what it is and how it can be reused. Is it something that can be recycled or is it something that can avoid the landfill by being re-circulated into society? 

Ask yourself: Can this be donated? Can I sell this? How can I have this item avoid the landfill and go to another home? 

And most importantly try to be conscious of the products you’re buying and the foods you’re consuming.


Let’s learn: Asbestos & It’s History and Risks.

I’m sure you’ve probably heard the word asbestos a few times in your life. Especially if you live in Canada, in which you’ve most likely heard it A LOT. You also probably know that it’s a harmful substance found in a lot of building materials, but why was it used so extensively and what is it exactly? Ethical Waste Services has all of your questions answered.

Let’s start with some history. Asbestos has been used for thousands of years dating back to the ancient Egyptian era about 4000 B.C when it was used to make cloth and paper, often used to mummify the rich after death. It’s been used in tons of materials since then, but it wasn’t until the late 1800’s that mining asbestos started to boom. And by 1970 it was used in 95% of homes in Canada.

Not only was it in almost every home, but it was also in most parts of homes as well. This picture shows all the possible places you might find asbestos in your home.

So why was it used so much? In the 1950’s and 60’s it was called the Miracle Mineral for a reason. It’s fireproof, super strong, sound insulating, heat insulating, cold insulating, waterproof, chemical resistant and resistant to electricity. Just to name a few. It’s basically the perfect mineral not to mention it’s highly accessible and cheap. The only downside is that it causes cancer. Some things are just too good to be true.  

For thousands of years no one suspected it was a deadly substance. Then in the 70’s retired workers from mines in the early 1900’s started coughing up blood and were struggling to breath. Thus began the decline of asbestos and by 1990 it was banned for use in Canada.

Prior to its decline Asbestos was Canada’s gold mine. With a Giant mine in Northern B.C and another in Central Quebec it became Canada’s largest export and by a huge margin. It was Canada’s #1 economic asset for years. Which is why the fight to stop exporting spanned decades, only ending in 2018. While it was banned for use in Canada in 1990 we exported it to foreign countries like India and China until 2018.

In 2016 Canadian Incident reports recorded 445 cases of Mesothelioma which can directly be caused by exposure to asbestos. So what happens when you’re exposed to Asbestos? Well, nothing. Not until you’ve been breathing it everyday for years. Then you’ll start to see some problems. In fact, most of us have most likely already been exposed to asbestos a number of times in our life.

Asbestos can also cause Asbestosis which occurs when asbestos fibers become caught in the membrane of your lungs and with no way to get them out your body tries to heal over them creating scar tissue. When the entirety of your lungs are covered in asbestos they eventually become covered in scar tissue making it impossible for oxygen molecules to enter, eventually causing death.

In conclusion Asbestos is the best deadly material to ever be made, which is why it’s in thousands of building materials and even tools. While it can cause very serious long term health effects it won’t harm you by your first or even third exposure. 

So if you encounter Asbestos in your home or are thinking about renovating your house built before 1990 do not panic. We’ve noticed that a real fear and paranoia of asbestos has been going around and we want to tell you not to worry. Call a professional such as Ethical Waste Services. We will test your home and remove all hazardous materials safely, keeping you and your family at ease and safe during and after the process. 

Our Asbestos Abatement Crews are trained, certified and wear proper PPE – Personal Protective equipment. 


We Have A New Office Space.

While it may seem like most companies have always had their office space, it’s been a long time in the making for us. We moved into our warehouse three years ago and we’ve been working on getting an office built ever since. The day has finally come and after lengthy delays we are very happy to say that we have moved in.

We moved in at the end of March and it was the perfect way to kick off our new fiscal year in a brand new space.  

Although it’s still challenging to gather all of our employees in one room due to Covid-19 restrictions, it’s been really great for our office staff (Raven, Andrea and Nadine) to be able to see everyone everyday.  

With our home office formerly in a different location it was challenging at times. We used to feel a lot more disconnected from our employees but that is over now. It’s a new world at Ethical Waste Services Ltd. while we keep navigating through staying close at a safe distance. Now that we’ve moved in we are already feelling a big change in our company culture! We’re super excited for things to slowly get back to “Normal” whatever that may be, so that we can proceed with in-person meetings and company gatherings in our new space.


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.