Sea to Sky Removal recognized by Recycling Council of BC | Squamish Chief

Sea to Sky Removal recognized by Recycling Council of BC

Squamish company has diverted over 900,000 kilograms of waste since 2017

The acclaim keeps piling up for Sea to Sky Removal.

The local waste removal company recently accepted an Environmental Award from the Recycling Council of British Columbia (RCBC) for its efforts in diverting construction waste from landfills.

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Just one week earlier, the company announced it is now a Certified B Corporation (recognizing the overall positive impact of the business).

"It's a pretty huge deal," said Cinci Csere, who co-founded Sea to Sky Removal with her husband Chris Arkell in 2016.

"It actually raises the bar of how construction waste is managed, and it really sets a new standard of being environmentally conscious in the industry, so I think it's a really big message."

The new accolades come on the heels of a Best Concept award at the 2018 BC Small Business Awards and a Sustainability in Action Business nod at the 2018 Whistler Excellence Awards.

Based in Squamish and operating throughout the Sea to Sky and Lower Mainland, the company works with construction firms to recycle construction waste and divert materials from the landfill, sorting through waste by hand.

They are the first company in the region to install recycling stations on construction sites (which Csere estimates divert about 136 kilograms per service alone).

"We saw that that was actually a real benefit on construction sites, and the crews actually really loved that," she said.

"They actually saw the visual impacts that those recycling stations did, and they saw us actually deconstruct construction waste onsite."

Looking at its diversion rates, it's easy to see why the company is garnering such attention.

In 2017, the company hauled 607,968 kilograms of material and diverted 367,863 kgs from the landfill.

That number grew massively in 2018, to the tune of 814,815 kgs of material hauled away and 522,896 kgs diverted from landfills.

"In terms of the construction industry, for having just the two trucks, (those stats are) extremely impressive," Arkell said. "I think that pushed us over the top."

With a client list of more than 300 contractors throughout Metro Vancouver and the Sea to Sky, Arkell estimates his crew hits "at least 500" construction sites every year—which means a lot of work for his five staff members (seven if you count himself and Csere).

"It does take a little bit more time than the traditional way of throwing everything out, but we've got everything down to a pretty good science and a system," he said.

"So it doesn't take that much longer, which is one of the things we're trying to stress to everyone: that if you get your crews and everyone trained properly it's not that big of a time difference between doing it the right way or everything just getting thrown out."

Having been involved in the construction industry since he was 14 years old, Arkell sees Sea to Sky Removal as his way of servicing that industry.

"We're very focused on the environment and what's happening in the world, and we kind of figured that for anything to actually happen you need to be responsible for your actions, and you need to be able to basically put your money where your mouth is," he said. "It's our way of being able to make sure that whatever we touch is actually handled properly."

The hope is that the broader message spreads, whether to contractors and workers on construction sites or the general public.

"I think it's a matter of constant education, and we educate our clients and even people who aren't our clients all the time, and just get the word out and say, 'Look, you know what? We have to do this. It's not a matter of 'We should be doing this,'" Arkell said.

"We have to do this if we want things to change, and we figured why not start in our own backyard?"

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