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.


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. 


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.


What does Earth Day mean to you?


Earth day is a global event that has been celebrated for the past 40 years. It’s the day where we draw our attention to  consumerism, the plastic pollution, the ocean garbage infestation, climate change and more.

In our business, we deal with junk removal, construction cleanup, interior demolition, asbestos and drywall removal. Everyday we get calls from companies getting rid of unwanted items. Our mission is to assess what can be salvaged , recycled and/or reused. We try to find places where the gently used items can have another life. We do our best to avoid dumping items in the landfill. We are conscious about our role in this industry and in our surroundings.

Here are some statistics of what we recycled in the first quarter of 2018:

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We are very proud of our accomplishments so far and continue to improve our positive impact on the environment. 

On top of all the recycled materials that we mention in this table, we  donated kitchen cabinets, fridges, stoves, washers and dryers, tables, toilets, etc. These items were reinstalled and  enjoyed for much longer instead of  being disposed of in the landfill!


We carefully choose other business partners to improve our resources to deviate garbage from the landfills.

Some of the organizations that we closely work with are: Habitat for Humanity, Value Village, Tri-Cities Friends of Refugees.

This year we challenge you to change your purchase habits, to recycle more and to use less energy.

Earth day is just a reminder of what we should practice EVERY day!