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North Vancouver salon helping turn used PPE into clean energy

Last Updated Nov 26, 2020 at 12:10 pm PDT


A North Vancouver salon that prides itself on being waste-free found the pandemic posed a challenge

The salon, like other businesses, is turning to a new initiative that recovers used PPE

NORTH VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — More businesses are using disposable PPE to stay safe, and a new program is helping turn discarded items into energy.

In North Vancouver, Tara Main, who co-owns the Joy Hair Studio, says her business prides itself on being a 95 per cent waste-free salon.

But within a month of reopening, they found the pandemic was presenting a challenge.

“We went through 200 of our disposable capes and aprons probably,” Main says.

COVID-19-related protocols required the salon to start using — and then discarding — single-use items.

“We generally never used anything this disposable before. We are now being required to use disposable caps, gloves, masks,” Main’s business partner Savannah Falk adds.

The salon, like other businesses, is turning to a new initiative that recovers used PPE.

Shane Price is the founder of Green Circle Salons which provides shop owners a PPE Recovery box that can be filled with used equipment and then can be picked up and brought to a facility in Burnaby where it’s incinerated.

“It creates an enormous amount of heat, that heat boils water, turns it into steam, that steam turns turbines and turbines turns into energy that can be put on the grid.” Price explains.

While the company’s founder admits there are harmful gases released in the process, he says it’s the greenest way to get rid of this used PPE.

“When you consider the option of landfilling, and that and there’s not additional use for it, waste energy is the best option,” he adds.

The boxes are only available for beauty salons, but Green Circle Salons says it’s exploring the idea of expanding to other sectors that have shown interest.