Credit: courtesy Thomas Goodall

Vancouver's Fresh Start Recycling and Disposal takes waste removal to the next level


Spring is near, and for some reason, we’ve been programmed to equate warmer weather with a need to dispose of the clutter in our lives. “Out with the old, in with the new” is the mantra engrained in our culture, perpetuating our widely accepted wastefulness. Throw in our penchant for convenience and you’ve got a recipe for environmental disaster.

In fact, Canadians are some of the worst offenders in terms of municipal waste per capita, and we’re only getting worse: between 1990 and 2005, the average amount of waste sent to landfills per Canadian increased by 24 percent.

We shouldn’t feel guilty about spring cleaning, but we should certainly be more mindful of the way we throw things “away,” considering that “away” is actually a place and there isn’t a garbage fairy who makes our junk magically disappear.

So, you want to be more conscious in your disposal, but where do you start?

“Basically our customers are trying to do the right thing, and we provide the expertise,” explains Thomas Goodall, founder of Fresh Start Recycling and Disposal. They aren’t garbage fairies, but you can hire them to pick up your junk and meticulously sort it, ensuring that no recyclables end up in a landfill.

They also take reusable items, such as small appliances and clothing, directly to local charities. In the month of February alone, Fresh Start was responsible for diverting 100.5 cubic yards of waste from the landfill and recycling and donating a total of 7,740 kilograms (about 8.5 tons) of materials that might have otherwise been carelessly discarded.

Other waste removal companies offer similar services, but the Fresh Start truck and trailer system forces sorting on the spot, so no corners are cut. In addition to helping customers with responsible disposal, Fresh Start is also conscious of its own practices. All of the trucks in its fleet “run on 100 percent natural gas until the tank is empty, then switch to a secondary regular gas tank until they can refill on natural,” says Goodall. Plus, they operate on a strict no-idling policy and are equipped with GPS systems to cut travel times and reduce emissions.

With companies like Fresh Start around, there’s no excuse for that old mattress to rot in the back alley, and just because your old computer isn’t as snazzy as your new MacBook doesn’t mean that someone else can’t use it.

Find out more at Freshstartrecycling.com.