A challenge was issued by the City of Guelph and Wellington County, Ontario. with the aim of helping local businesses develop solutions to reduce the landfilling of construction, renovation and demolition (CRD) waste.
The Civic Innovation Challenge is being launched as part of the Circular Opportunity Innovation Launchpad (COIL) Zero Waste Economic Transformation Lab which aims to provide strategies that reduce or redirect waste. The program was launched by Guelph-Wellington earlier this year.
“We have funding to see if a business in our area wants to pilot a change in their transportation methods and it’s going to a transportation company or a contractor,” said Madeline Carter, program advisor, head of COIL. .
“One thing that we identified early on is that source separation is an issue. On a construction site, usually, a house renovation for example, there’s a dumpster and everything gets dumped… Once these materials are mixed, much of the value is lost.
The goal of the initiative is to keep CRD materials out of landfills.
“We’re all running out of landfill space,” Carter noted. “Building materials are very resource-intensive. Wood and concrete take a lot of energy to create, so throwing them away isn’t ideal.
“We should try to reuse or create a better purpose for these products.”
As part of this challenge, COIL is seeking a local business interested in developing a new model to support on-site source separation or alternative waste transportation methods to divert CRD materials for small ICI and residential projects.
According to a news release, CRD waste such as concrete, drywall, cabinets and wood accounts for about one-third of the waste Canadians send to landfills each year.
Submissions to develop waste diversion solutions are accepted until 2:30 p.m. on October 5. They may be subject to Bids and Tenders – Guelph
The winner will receive $15,000 to pilot their new system with the Smart Cities Office and the city’s Solid Waste Resource Department.
Applications are also accepted for the Circulate CoLab Challenge #3: Circular by Design CoLab – COIL.
COIL seeks to work with companies/organizations to prototype ideas in the food, environment and CRD sectors. Successful teams will receive $20,000 in funding to prototype their idea. The deadline to apply is September 23 at 5 p.m.
In addition to the challenges, Carter said the team engaged in a research phase throughout the summer, with consultants working on two reports: Construction and Demolition Material Flow Analysis – Guelph/ Wellington by Metabolic and Dillon Consulting; and ReBuilding the Royal City — An Exploration of Building the Circular Built Environment in Guelph Wellington by Raphael Lopoukhine.
The second report describes the current state of the construction industry in the region.
“We look at the different economic, cultural and societal factors that drive building materials to be recycled or landfilled,” Carter explained. “It’s specific to our area, Guelph and Wellington County, but it shows where the availability for recycling is versus landfill and why things are landfilled or recycled. We conducted interviews throughout the summer with various industry stakeholders such as contractors, transporters and transfer station operators. »
Carter said the teams were in contact with 30 stakeholders.
“It’s very interesting to learn on the ground what’s actually going on and the different things that are being done at different sites,” Carter said.
There are places in Canada and around the world where source separation and recycling is the norm for construction waste, she added.
“There’s a lot of work being done across Canada and the United States on the circular economy in the built environment, so we’re also doing a lot of background research.
“We spoke with people from Alberta and British Columbia and different places who have been able to implement circular economy practices,” Carter noted.
“There’s definitely a lot to learn from other places as well and now that we’ve done all of this research, we’ll be able to use our funding to create programs and make changes to the current system.”
The reports are currently being reviewed and the findings are expected to be released next month.
“These reports will help us target specific areas,” Carter said.
“We have funds available to make system changes and innovate within the supply chain to increase recycling, increase reuse and advance the circular economy in the construction world.”
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