Podcast episode 142 transcription
Al Del Degan Hosts Robert Herritt
Listen to the episode here: rainforestalberta.podbean.com/e/e0142/
[00:00:00] Al Del Degan: Hey everybody. Welcome to the episode. today my special guest is Robert Herritt. Robert is the president of a company called Styro Go, and you may find this as fascinating and conversation as I know I am going to. Apparently styrofoam is recyclable and easily recyclable, but we're just not doing it. So, Robert, thanks for joining me today.
[00:00:21] Robert Herritt: Absolutely Al, thanks for inviting me.
[00:00:23] Al Del Degan: Well, let's start out. Like I always do Robert and let's talk a little bit about who you are, like, how did you, how did your career path sort of end up in you starting this business? Like what, what, what did you do, when you came out of that came out of school and started your career?
[00:00:37] Robert Herritt: I certainly have a bit of a colorful past, I, I graduated university with a degree in geography and political science.
I was going to go into law that went to New Zealand for a six week holiday. I ended up living there for two and a half years and came back as a pilot because, that normally happens, I got stuck. So I came back to Canada, finished up my commercial qualifications, at an aviation college in Eastern Canada and found myself getting my foot in the door with, Calgary and Alberta's original airline, from there, after 9-11, though, it totally took the fun out of the industry. And, and I still have friends there that, you know, it's unimaginable that their kids have never been up to the flight deck and seeing where they are cause it's the best seat in the sky. And yet the world has changed and apparently it's gotten a little better, but of course you still can't have people up there. So, I saw my opportunity to exit and go into private business so I took that chance and of course everyone's like, you're crazy.
Now they look at me and they're like, you know, you're so lucky. And I'm like, that is a little hard work in the middle there. Right. But, I started a small business doing consulting, had to go get a job on the side. And I first got my business up and running because, you know, consulting is something where you do the working, you get paid later.
So I, did some consulting for a few different clients. And then a friend of mine had, won the contract with a major developer for a major multi-family project in Southeast Calgary. And he approached me and said, listen, can you manage it for me 'cause you could literally crawl your crawl across the street to where it is, and I'm on the exact opposite side of the city.
So I did that and it ended up being this huge project over 400 units and seven years of work. Yeah. It was a huge condo project, but it was during that time that I was there, and I can specifically remember watching just these dumpsters piled high with styrofoam going to the dump and that's where the seed was planted.
I can still remember sitting in the construction shack just looking out the window, and it was about this time of year actually, it was cold and the snow was on the ground and I'm going, it's got a recycle symbol on it, why doesn't somebody do anything? So I started doing a bit of homework and went, oh! there's no money in it. That's why nobody does it. So I took it on as a bit of a, just a, you know, project management challenge to say, okay, I can land a hundred tonne aircraft. I can manage a huge 400 unit project. I can figure out how to make recycling styrofoam work. So it began a just, it took me about 18 months to figure it out, figure out the technology.
Line up the vendors and everything else, it took about 18 months to figure out the specifics. It was unique enough. I knew I certainly didn't go down this path to invent an industry, but it was unique enough that I got three patents issued on it. Yeah. And then from there. You know, we started out, auspiciously trying to change everybody's belief that, as you said, styrofoam actually is recyclable contrary to what, you know, the messaging that we've been fed for a long time.
[00:03:45] Al Del Degan: You said something really interesting. You said that the, the styrofoam packaging itself has a recyclable symbol on it. so it was anybody in the world recycling styrofoam before you came up with the idea?
absolutely. There is. I guess previous to my involvement, really, there's only two types of styrofoam recycling.
[00:04:03] Robert Herritt: There are the companies that a) had really deep pockets and b) produced such an enormous amount that it made sense for them to invest in the machinery to do. a great example of this would be Canada's own The Brick, you know, because they deal in such large volumes of appliances and furniture, their DC's in Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, and Ontario all have a machine.
And, you know, they produce trailers of the stuff per week. So when you're into that level, you know, it, it made sense that, and they didn't go into this. And the other thing is that they there's, nobody that's gone in just out from recycling as a business model, they got into. To reduce their garbage costs.
It wasn't an economic opportunity in terms of generating revenue. It was merely a method to reduce cost. Aside from them, the only other ones were municipalities. They were government funded and just like the government funds, the C-Train or the buses, they do that as a public service.
And most of the time those services actually lose money, but we do it for the betterment of the, of the community. And likewise, there's two small communities in Alberta that have been doing styrofoam recycling for more than a decade. And they do it for their small community. It costs the community significant money per year to run per capita it's their most expensive service that they provide to their citizens, but it's something that they had to vote on many years ago. And the citizens said, yes, they'd rather see a $3 hike in their taxes, you know, for a small community, to pay for the service.
[00:05:35] Al Del Degan: Okay. So now I think one of the important points to mention is that Styrofoam, big white chunks of styrofoam that are wrapped around your television set or your couch or whatever, when you buy something, that's actually plastic, right? It's a form of plastic. And so tell us a little bit about, I mean, obviously not in great detail, but just in general, the process that you came up with and what happens after the process? Like what's the result of that process?
[00:06:03] Robert Herritt: The thumbnail sketch of styrofoam itself, you know, obviously there's been attempts to set other materials, be used for packaging. There's waxed cardboard, there's peanuts. There's more recently, you know, airbags. Certainly there has been a few studies. one of the most conclusive was done by somebody at the university of Victoria, where they studied all the different packaging materials and found that styrofoam is by far. a) the most cost-effective and b) the least impactful to the environment. When you consider upstream and downstream water, energy, raw material input, you know, the whole life cycle of these various products, they found that polystyrene was by far the best and a further study has been done very recently, out of California showing that of all the plastics, polystyrene is one of the easiest to recycle. So it's, it fits very nicely with the way that the world is moving towards circular economy. And the resin producers and manufacturers are moving this direction where they really discovered they were part of the problem why recycling various plastics didn't happen because you could have the most dedicated eco- warrior who goes and buys a rotisserie chicken and the bottom was made of plastic number four and the top was plastic. Number five. Then they would scrub it out to where it's completely sanitary and brand new again, but they're not going to have six different plastic bins for the recycling company to pick up. They put it in the blue bin. And because you got two different plastic codes that can't be recycled. So they realize we're part of the problem here. So and of course they haven't done this in a public announcement or fanfare, but certainly if you start looking at those little, the three little arrows with the number in the middle, if you start looking at those in the grocery store, you'll see the vast majority are now shifting to plastics four five and six. They're really shifting the vast majority of them into those plastic because those three resins can be with advanced recycling, that's another topic, can be co-mingled and successfully recycled, upcycled. And so the, the people who are making the plastics are certainly investing a lot of money into making sure that they can be recycled with our current recycling infrastructure. Probably the best example of not just the resin producers, but also companies would be Keurig Dr. Pepper. And so the people that made Keurig and those K-cups that you put in for a single dose coffee, and then you pull it out and you know, how do you recycle it?
And they spent millions of dollars, figuring out how to make the outside hard plastic, the same plastic resin as if you peel off the top and inside your coffee grounds, or if you'd dumped the coffee grounds out, you've got a little mesh net in there it's flexible. And they spent millions of dollars figuring out how to make that soft, flexible mesh, the same plastic as the hard exterior, but they were able to do it. And that's why now K-cups, you'll see, they all have this little green triangle on them saying recyclable because you just peel off the lid, empty the coffee grounds, give it a quick rinse, throw it in your blue bin because it's all plastic number five and it can be easily recycled.
So, you know, companies are really moving, and putting significant effort and finances into making sure that their products can be recycled with ease.
[00:09:26] Al Del Degan: That's brilliant. That's fantastic. and then the, the second part of my question with styrofoam recycling, how does that process work and what can you do with what comes out of the other end?
[00:09:35] Robert Herritt: It's funny enough of styrofoam or polystyrene as it's a styrofoam is a brand name. And of course, most people don't ask for a facial tissue. They'll say, do you have a Kleenex? And styrofoam has become ubiquitous where it's referred to in the generic sense and people refer to meat, trays and everything else that resembles that, or seems like they use the brand name styrofoam to describe it.
So with styrofoam it's really been a bit under the radar of most people's consciousness, as you mentioned that it seems that it wasn't recyclable and you know, that was your understanding. And that's been something that's been propagated a lot by municipalities because the answer is, yes, it can be recycled with current technology that hasn't evolved over 20 years. So using existing technology is prohibitively expensive. So it was much easier to, for municipalities and cities to say, yes, it can't be recycled because then they're not going to get flack from citizens about why don't you do it? Where if they just say, no, it's not recyclable, okay, no problem. Then people don't object to it.
So, with styrofoam, the irony is that, it was kind of the forgotten cousin of the plastics world and nothing really had evolved. so when I started looking at this, the technology was decades old and really nothing had been done. Whereas most other recycling technologies have advanced considerably. most people, hopefully some of your listeners anyway, will remember, you know, 20 odd years ago with cardboard, if it had a staple in it. And those of us old enough to remember, when your bills came in the mail. So you got your Telus bill or whatever, come in the mail.
If you wanted to recycle the envelope, you had to take your bill out. And then you had to peel off that little clear plastic window. For it to be recyclable. And, you know, that's, that's where that started. And you know, some of your listeners are going, Bill's come in the mail?, you know, but it's, but that's where it started.
And with cardboard, if it had a staple in it, it was rejected, you know, or a sticker. So, you know, that's where it was such limitations that, you know, companies that were trying to do their best, McDonald's like the fry boxes and things that they go through mountains of. And I mean, having to peel off these stickers that were on like concrete and staples or whatever, But nowadays they're bundled into these bales and sit outside Walmart for two months covered in snow and, and stuff and their recycled no problem. That's because the technology has evolved where there's value in it. And these contamination issues really are easily dealt with. Polystyrene or styrofoam really was still stuck in the, you know, the, the era of the eighties and the nineties it's decades, old technology that said it could be recycled with what I refer to as legacy recyclers, where.
we put it in a machine. It greatly reduces its volume. That's the key. That's what makes styrofoam so great at what it does. It takes a lot of space and it's strong, but it weighs nothing. That's the same problem as to why it can't be recycled conventionally because you'll spend $500 to collect $50 worth of material.
[00:12:30] Robert Herritt: So, we put it in a machine. That'll greatly reduce the volume. It takes up. It simply is. you know, if you put it in a cardboard baler, it'll reduce it by about two thirds, but a, you know, half to two thirds, depending on the Baylor, when we put it in our machine, we will reduce it from like a 53 foot trailer load, which we do for some clients.
We'll do that in a couple of hours. The 53 foot trailer load of styrofoam is about 3000 cubic feet. And we will reduce that from that size to almost about half the size of a conventional fridge in a few hours and that, you know, so we'll go from 3000 cubic feet to, you know, roughly, maybe 30 cubic feet and it weighs 1200 pounds.
So we reduce it and it becomes more dense and therefore economical the transport when it goes to our machine, like I said, it gets to about 60 or 65 pounds per cubic foot is the density. We sell this to offshore manufacturers. They run it through a grinder. It comes out locally like rice, basically. It's then graded according to color and clarity, and then it's used as their basic raw material for injection molding and these kind of things blow molding. They can make. An unbelievable amount of, things from it. And I guarantee the average Canadian has multiple items in their home, made from this, it's very common. About 80% of the time when you see something that's a finished or manufactured product, and it says on, it contains recycled material, 80% of the time it's polystyrene. Cause it's so compatible with almost anything else. They can make it look like anything. They can make it look like stainless steel, marble, granite, brushed nickel, birds-eye maple, you know, slate. They can make it look like anything. I've been to the factories and have watched the process. And it's truly amazing what they do.
And as a secondary benefit, I came to realize that whenever they have a shortfall of styrofoam, as feedstock, what they do then is they use wood, for presses. So, you know, the secondary benefit of recycling styrofoam is you're displacing, you know, the use of wood as a manufacturing. So it was kind of a secondary green effect there where they're not cutting down trees for manufacturing, they're using a plastic.
Most people look at certain things like that and go, well, if they didn't have it, they don't make it. No, the demand is there for the products they're making. If they don't have plastics to recycle and put into it as a feed stock, then they'll just use wood, you know? So, yeah. But, The short answer to your question is they take the material it's made into these various moldings frames. It can be picture frames, tiles, backsplashes, baseboards, crown moldings, any kind of a decorative piece, small spaces like in airlines and stuff.
I think I'm a real favorite of this where they can make it look like a marble countertop in the bathroom in the first class section of the aircraft. But of course marble is very heavy weight is bad on an aircraft. So these kinds of decorative touches that look amazing and high quality, but yet have low weight. So it's various things like this that they can do that, even in cars, most automobiles now are hugely mostly plastic. And so even some of the finished wood touches and so forth on some of your automobiles are actually recycled styrofoam because they can make it look that way, and it works well.
[00:15:44] Al Del Degan: That's incredible. And just maybe as a followup question, are, are those products that are made from the recycled styrofoam? are they, is it possible to further recycle those if they need to?
[00:15:56] Robert Herritt: The best of my understanding is no. certainly it's more of, a diversion from waste as opposed to a true circular economy or closed loop systems, so to speak.
And part of the problem is. You know, these are legacy recyclers, whereas, you know, the technologies from decades old, the technology did not exist 30 years ago to turn a can of Coke back into a can of Coke. But now that's aluminum is a closed loop recycle program where, you know, 95% of it goes back and makes the exact same thing again.
But again, the that's that's legacy recycling. and the good news is, is that finally, innovation is catching up and polystyrene is getting an awful lot of attention these days in terms of. For recyclability and, and other valuable components that it has in it. so just before COVID yet we are actually were approached by two companies.
Now a third has come on the scene, interested in partnering up with us to be able to take the polystyrene or styrofoam that we collect and recycle it with. What's been kind of termed in the industry. As advanced recycling, that's not necessarily one specific method, but it's just that term is being applied to technologies that are able to basically recycle styrofoam into other things, which obviously can be recycled further amounts or, you know, endlessly in a closed loop system.
So the technology has finally come about where they can take styrofoam regardless of the contamination and recycle it into brand new virgin styrofoam. They also are able to take it and break it down chemically. And the reason why styrofoam is so popular for this application is because really it's just a pure Petrol product.
And so they're able to reverse engineer. Most of these technologies revolve around something called pyrolysis, which is a certain. well-established technology, which is basically heating up a plastic in the absence of oxygen. And then they're able to start capturing the off gases that come from it and using it for various applications.
But we're the advanced part of the recycling comes in is where everybody seems to have a different spin on it. Some of them use powerful electric magnets, some use microwave's, there's various applications that they can bring to bear that further enhance the pyrolysis system. And from this, they can turn it into diesel, gasoline, jet fuel.
There's a company in Ontario called Green Mantra. so you know, there's Pyro Wave in Montreal, they just signed a deal with, they used microwaves to, further enhanced their advanced recycling of styrofoam. They just signed a major deal with Michelin, Michelin is convinced that they can reverse engineer the styrofoam using power waves technology and make up to 12% of the tire from styrofoam and Green Mantra, they've had various, they've had huge success dealing with polypropylene, which is plastic resin number five, the little three arrows on the bottom of something. so, but they've done some trials with polystyrene, which is number six.
[00:18:58] Robert Herritt: They can recycle the polystyrene into various things like decking or the ink that's used in dry erase markers and various other applications. And when you're using these kinds of things, certainly that's still linear, but you're greatly displaceing virgin resin from being turned into that. So you're displacing basically the original petrochemical source that would be normally be captured for this.
And in the case of another company in the U S called Agile X, they actually have really perfected and closed the loop on polystyrene, where they can take any form of polystyrene, even foodware, which has kind of been that achilles heel of the whole industry, which has contaminated with greases or oils and that sort of thing.
They've developed the technology and perfected it where they can take food grade material contaminated with food, and they can recycle that into brand new styrofoam.
[00:19:55] Al Del Degan: With this recycling ability, I know that Cochrane has had a, a recycle program for quite some time, and so have some other smaller towns, but Calgary and Edmonton specifically do not recycle styrofoam at the moment. Can you maybe give us an idea of why that is and how that's hopefully going to change?
[00:20:14] Robert Herritt: So those familiar with. I guess, you know, had their ear to the, to the eco chatter. so to speak. Alberta is finally bringing in, what's called an Extended Producer Responsibility program. Those wheels are finally and fully in motion.
There were stakeholder engagements back in January of 2021. And so those wheels are in motion. Incidentally, Alberta is the last province in Canada to have an EPR of course, but. The benefit being that obviously you can stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before you, you can learn from their mistakes.
BC is the pioneer in North America in regards to this, they've had an EPR for 14 years. and they made lots of mistakes because they were the first and, you know, so they, they really trailblazed the way. And then there's Ontario and other regions. So Alberta has been, very pointedly, you know, cherry picking the best of the BC and Ontario programs and, wanting to add their own unique Alberta enhancements and so forth to make sure it works here, which is fantastic.
So that is coming in and for those of your listeners who are not familiar with it, the short version of EPR is simply that there's something called the AUMA, the Alberta urban municipal association. It's kind of a group of the larger municipalities in the province that, you know, it's an association for them to deal collectively with the provincial government.
They did a study and realized that because everybody else has an EPR program and we don't the citizens of Alberta are already paying for one. The problem is because there's no legislation we're actually they're getting the benefit and then they cited a few examples. One being manufacturers, of course, across Canada are already a part of this program. It's just not here. So Samsung has an $800 dishwasher, for instance. They sell that dishwasher in BC for $800. Buried in the price, it's not transparent or visible to the consumer, is $12 for an EPR, but they don't sell that same dishwasher here for $788. It's still $800, the $12 we're already paying, but because there's no legislation it's not submitted, then it's not evil corporations that don't want to give up the money, it's, you know, if the government doesn't have a specific line code for you to submit something, they won't, they're all about bureaucracy and process. And if there's not a process for it, you can't do anything about it. That actually is part of the problem why we're not involved, here in, in, in Calgary and Edmonton, the, the EPR coming in, that, that money is already being paid out.
[00:22:41] Robert Herritt: And so they did a very comprehensive study and they found that there's in well over a hundred million dollars a year, that is being paid by Alberta citizens. And because there's no legislation, we're not getting any benefit from it. And. Everything from your bottle of Pert shampoo has 12 cents or, you know, whatever, there's money already baked into the price of virtually all the paper and plastic packaging that is part of the recycling programs.
And so, yeah, so that's, that's where that is. It's a little bit different than say the beverage recycling program where there's a deposit and as well, and you'll have noticed that when you go by. Case of water or whatever that they'll charge an extra 2 cents a bottle or something, but it was called the CRF fee or something, but that's visible on the machine.
This is something that's completely baked in the price. It's invisible to the consumer, but it's, it's very much there. So they realize that, well, we're really losing out on this and these are serious numbers. They said that obviously, if they distributed the money across Alberta on a per capita basis, Calgary would get something like $22 million dollars a year.
And so this isn't some one-time half a million dollar grant from the feds or something. This is significant revenue that would displace what we, as taxpayers are funding. So the, the impetus is on them to, to bring an EPR into place. Part of how an EPR is going to be run is, there has to be eco centers now for your listeners outside of Calgary this will be very obvious. People in Calgary will be what really, if they haven't gone elsewhere. And that is. The Calgary is the only major city without an eco centre without a recycling center. We have a assemblance of it, the three landfills with the throw and go where you can take fluorescent bulbs and batteries and paints and these kinds of things.
But there's no actual EcoCenter where you can bring things. Whereas. In Edmonton, they have four, they've got one in each quadrant to the city. And when you roll in there, they can take almost everything like mattresses, small electronics and all these things, paints, everything else.
And, so, you know, so they have that all set up. And so part of an EPR program will entail that the city category will have to get some eco centers done up and accessible for people to obviously make it convenient enough to be a part of. And these are typically separate from landfill. So that's where the city of Calgary is kind of behind on this for even the surrounding communities that we go to Okotokes, Airdrie, Cochrane, they have an EcoCenter that's where you bring everything that can be recycled and they take care of it.
So that shift has to happen in Calgary. It's the only major city that does not have that. Virtually every town in BC, Saskatchewan, all these other places, they have that. so that be part of what is required for new EPR program. And then that will be the main du jour, I would say, you'll see these green bins that are in the Home Depot parking lot, that people drop everything at and then it blows all over the parking lot.
Those likely will diminish in number. They may not go away entirely, but certainly with the availability and convenience of an eco center where you can just pull in and open the trunk, and people take everything out for you, it's just a vastly more efficient method, so that that's the transition that's going to happen here in Calgary.
So when that does happen, certainly you'll see that part of the main problem with we actually service all those surrounding communities of Calgary, Edmonton Red Deer and Lethbridge, all the major cities we do, the smaller communities around it. Just know the big ones. And the main issue is bureaucracy, with smaller communities, their budget matters and, Playing with so many zeros.
And if they can save typically a lot of these places don't have the infrastructure costs to run their own landfill. you know, Airdrie, Cochrane, these places, Chestermere, they'll send their stuff to the Calgary landfill. so of course, any garbage they have to transport and they readily recognize the transporting styrofoam, which is an essentially air is very costly.
That's why all the, the smaller communities, they see an immediate safety. And so that's why they've all gotten on board. Whereas for the larger cities, especially the ones that run the infrastructure. you know, I actually had a city counselor in Calgary told me, well, you know, you can throw the dump for free.
So no, it isn't free actually. you know, there is an economic cost to that, it's just it disappears in your budget. Whereas obviously with a recycle program is an extra line item, but, you know, certainly there is a cost that when things go in the landfill, incidentally, Toronto is, is realizing this with a very harsh reality that their landfills were filling up faster than expected.
It takes 10 to 12 years to develop a new landfill and. about seven months ago, CBC reported on this in the, in the GTA where their new landfill will open up in about five years. And their current landfill is about to close the two years. So they are, they're trying and scrambling to figure out how to fill that three year gap where they otherwise there'll be like, you know, trucking a hundred trucks a day to Chicago or somewhere, and you'll see, you know, the tipping fee in Toronto, like, you know, they'll have to add a zero to it or something to pay for this.
So they are now, EPR, Ontario is actually revamping their EPR to a full, funded EPR what it's called and their, their goal is they want to divert as much as possible from what's going to landfill because they don't have the space. And the alternative is ridiculously expensive, so there is, there is a cost to filling up the landfill faster and there's a significant savings to, you know, filling it up with, things sooner.
So, anyway, that's the answer to the question is, certainly, the bureaucracy is one of the main issues. Smaller communities have smaller budgets that they recognize the savings because it's more apparent to them. but with EPR coming in that will Trump the bureaucracy of the bigger establishments and force everybody to get on board. And this isn't a styrofoam, of course, this will be everything under the sun, you know, that can be recycled with the various plastics and, you know, shopping bags, tires. Absolutely. You know, Alberta's one of the better ones that's taking the initiative with, with electronics, you know, but there's various other products out there that need recycling outlets, and there's no easy alternative. So with an EPR, it'll definitely have there's various chemicals that are sometimes difficult, like antifreeze and oils and these sort of things that you just can't dump it down the drain. You can't throw it in the black bin.
[00:28:59] Al Del Degan: Yeah. Yeah. That's a good point. On a side note, I get it, like I get business, but it's disturbing that people look at. Throwing things in the landfill or not as something is either cost-effective or not rather than going, is it right? Like, is it right to just bury things and let them decompose for millions of years, rather than actually turning them into something usable or somehow recycling it into a new product .
I don't know what could possibly, make that change happen. But, I guess it gets, if it becomes financially beneficial to recycle rather than not recycling, but that's about the only thing that's going to make the change. But, you know, we, as consumers and we, as, as citizens of these municipalities, I mean, we have a voice too.
And if enough of us scream out loud, someone's going to have to do something about it. you know, and, and you know, this, this is really an interesting, we don't really get overly political on this podcast or anything like that, but I mean, I would love to see all the listeners of this podcast, start putting your styrofoam in your garage and, and waiting till you can recycle it rather than just throwing it into the landfill.
One of the things that we did here in Crestmont is we have a, Crestmont cleanup day that we used to do twice a year. and the city of Calgary would bring their garbage trucks and we'd have Women In Need, collect things that could still be used. And we had tire recycling and paint recycling and whatever.
[00:30:27] Al Del Degan: And Robert, you came to, one of our most recent ones where you actually had your truck there and people brought tons and tons of styrofoam and you collected it all and, and took it away. And I actually, it was, it was even though to me, it was a ton of styrofoam to you. It probably wasn't a whole lot, but are you open to, community associations, doing recycling days and having you join them to collect, the styrofoam?
[00:30:56] Robert Herritt: Absolutely. That is definitely something we very much wanting to be a part of in public engagement. And, and again, as you said, it's, you know, the, to, to paraphrase, you know, if the citizens demanded, then the bureaucrats will come and certainly public awareness is the single most important thing it is available. It is cost effective.
obviously I'm talking about styrofoam here, but it's available. It's cost effective. It can be done smaller municipalities that don't have the, you know, 18 levels of bureaucracy recognize the benefit and have gotten on board. like I said, we're at about four dozen municipalities we service right now.
[00:31:32] Robert Herritt: We've got about 40, more that, have recently been inquiring about service. And so that we're in negotiations to, to get arrangements made and to be able to offer up the service to them. Probably close to a hundred municipalities by the end of the year that we'll be receiving the service here in Alberta.
So it's, if enough people demand. in Calgary and Edmonton, then the authorities will, will bend to their will. So that's, it's just needs to be a change in, will have character from, from the citizens to force that. And, and the gatekeepers of the systems will, will listen because, you know, after all, at the end of the day, we're in charge as the citizens.
[00:32:13] Al Del Degan: Right on. Yeah, that's a great point. So Rainforest let's, let's put our heads together and figure out how we can make this happen. There needs to be styrofoam recycling along with our other recycling programs, there's just no way these large, gigantic chunks of air should be put into a landfill, taking up space and decomposing over millions of years.
It's just not intelligent. It's not, something that we should be doing and we're better than that. So let's, let's put our heads together and figure this out. And Robert, I'm guessing you're here for us and we have any questions or we'll have your link to your LinkedIn profile in the show notes on your company website.
if, if anybody has any questions, I'm assuming they can reach out to you and help get things figured out.
[00:32:59] Robert Herritt: Absolutely, feel free to give us a call or send an email email@example.com. We can certainly get back to you. And, we, we certainly do field a lot of requests for service and we're able to point people in the right direction.
And you know, if it's a community or nearby community where you were, where we are providing a service, we're, we're able to directly help.
[00:33:19] Al Del Degan: Fantastic. Well, thanks, Robert. I appreciate very much you coming and sharing your story with us today.
[00:33:25] Robert Herritt: Thanks for your time, appreciate it Al.
[00:33:27] Al Del Degan: Cheers. Okay. Everybody, tune in next week for another exciting episode of the Leaders, Innovators, and Big Ideas podcast for Rainforest, Alberta, and, have a wonderful rest of your day.
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