Home-based recycling business hopes to make a dent in corporate plastic waste
An Edmonton man has started a business aiming to turn corporate plastic waste into new products that will keep it from landfills.
Corey Saban started Re Waste out of his garage when, after years working in construction, he was laid off near the beginning of the pandemic last spring.
He decided to take a look at the plastic waste in his household and that curiosity blossomed into a burgeoning business.
"We started just working with single-use plastic bags and transformed those into tiles," Saban told CBC Radio's Edmonton AM.
These first products, hexagonal tiles that are assembled into wall protectors, were the beginning of an ongoing relationship with Goodwill. Now Saban collects the charity's waste plastic, which is shredded at its Impact Centre and will be turned into sheets for use in its warehouse.
Initially, Saban rigged up some homemade processes, using household items like a kitchen griddle or clothes iron to melt down the plastic. Since then, he has purchased small-scale equipment to shred plastic into flakes that can be heated and moulded into other products
He has been having discussions with several organizations about scaling up and launching in different markets.
"It's going to be going to the bank, get financing, scale up the business, get out of the garage, get that warehouse, bring equipment from Europe to Canada so that we can be a functioning, operating business."
Another target for Saban is data collection. Re Waste has done several pilots, including one that ran last fall in Beaumont, Alta.
Over three weeks, the project gathered 124 kilograms of plastic from 66 households in the small city. Using that data, Saban estimates Beaumont's 18,000 residents produce about 260,742 kilograms of plastic waste each year.
"One thing that we really focused on was the data that came out of that plastic," Saban said.
Each piece collected during the final week was analyzed and put into a database to better understand where the plastic is coming from.