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.


What is Asbestos?

By definition, asbestos is a heat-resistant fibrous silicate mineral that can be woven into fabrics, and is used in fire-resistant and insulating materials such as brake linings. In english, it is an insulator with great fire protection properties that is resistant to chemical erosion.

What are the risks?

Asbestos isn’t hazardous until it is disturbed, often from renovations or demolitions. Breathing exposed asbestos fibres can cause cancer and other diseases including, asbestois, mesthelima and lung cancer.

Does my home contain asbestos?

If your house was built between 1950 – 1990, it is likely that there is some form of asbestos. It is often hard to tell because asbestos was mixed with with many other materials. Before doing any renovations you must have your drywall tested for asbestos. HERE is a link to asbestos testing facilities.

Common uses for asbestos:

  • Insulation
  • Linoleum
  • Floor tiles
  • Drywall
  • Cement board and tiles
  • Textured decorative coatings
  • Cement pipers

Please click on the following link to see which materials may be asbestos containing

Asbestos Hazards for Homeowners

What do I do if my home contains asbestos?

If your home contains asbestos and you’re looking to do renovation, call us, we specialize in Asbestos Abatement and can safely remove and dispose of all contaminated materials.

Find more information on how we can help HERE


2015 Business Excellence Awards Finalist

We are excited to be chosen as a finalist for the Tri-Cities Chamber Business Excellence Awards. Being nominated in three categories was an absolute honour and we are proud to be moving forward in the Community Spirit Award category.

The Community Spirit Award is defined as; a business or individual that demonstrates an outstanding generous spirit by way of support for Tri-Cities based organizations and non-profits, a commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility, and ultimately, a dedication to making the Tri-Cities a better place to live, work, and play.

Ethical Waste Services Ltd. embodies this description in every aspect, we are determined to

make a difference to our local community. Every year, we donate 50% of our profits to local not-for-profit, ACCESS Youth Outreach Services, supporting local youth and encouraging a safe haven for at-risk youth. We also hire at-risk youth, providing financial stability, work experience and routine. Our goal is to make sure that every person is given the opportunity they deserve. Empowering youth and providing the tools for success ensures the Tri-Cities will remain and continue to be a great place to live, work and play.

Paul takes his community commitment a step further by volunteering for ACCESS Youth Outreach Services as member on the Board of Directors and as a volunteer on the ride alongs with the ACCESS bus. For 2016, he is also joining the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Team.

We are excited to congratulate other Community Spirit nominees, Katrina Shelast from Hair We Are Beauty Boutique and Scotiabank!

Take a second to vote for us HERE.


How Much Did We Collect in 2015? Over 2.8 Million Pounds

2015 has marked a year of change, growth and development. Thank you to all of our customers for helping us reach our goals. This year, we have collected tons, literally tonnes, of drywall, garbage and asbestos.

We recycled 1,221.03 tonnes (2,686,258.95 lbs) of drywall. That is equivalent to 244 large elephants or a 12-storey building. Drywall is recycled at New West Gypsum, Cloverdale Disposal and Capt’n Crunch.

We collected 62.26 tonnes (136,982.88 lbs) of garbage. Think about the biggest shark you’ve ever seen, then think even bigger. At 33 feet long the whale shark reaches 60 tonnes. To ensure as many materials as possible will be recycled, we take garbage to local businesses, International Material Recovery, Wastech and Harvest Urban Waste Recyclers.

With a surge of demolitions, asbestos jobs have drastically increased. In 2015, we collected 20.57 tonnes (45,250 lbs) of asbestos materials. This tricky substance must be disposed of with care, HLI Hazmat Logistics takes the absestos safely across BC to be properly disposed of in Alberta. Be safe with every demolition and renovation, make sure that you test for asbestos containing material (ACM)!

Click here to see a full list of materials that may contain asbestos >> Asbestos Hazards for Homeowners

We look forward to another great year in 2016! Looking at renovating? Give us a call, we’ll deal with the mess for you.


3rd ACCESS Fundraising Gala

A successful sold out fundraising event for the ACCESS Youth Outreach  Services took place at the Hard Rock Casino in Coquitlam, BC on October 24, 2014. Ethical Waste Services Ltd. was proud to be one of the sponsors along other amazing companies supporting the Youth that will become our future.

We met some great people and made some great connections. Paul has been involved with ACCESS through the volunteering on the Outreach Bus. Recently, he also earned his seat on the Board of Directors. He’s been sharing stories (as much as he can) with others to understand what and why Ethical Waste Services Ltd. is involved with ACCESS. I always thought I have understood, but meeting the staff Paul works with, hearing their stories and meeting them face-to-face has been an eye opener.

It’s been an evening of recognition and amazement about how these people turned their lives around and how they made it their life mission to change lives of others.

Ethical Waste Services Ltd. is honoured to support ACCESS Youth Outreach program and their staff and we are looking forward to the next year of collaboration. We can’t wait to see what the next year will bring….

The ACCESS Outreach Gala raised over $30,000.





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