Waste management is no longer what it once was. Gone are the days where whatever we declared garbage headed to the dump without a second thought. Environmental concerns and an eye on the bottom line have led to major changes in how municipalities and organizations handle their waste. The waste management industry is a big one, worth approximately $5 billion in Canada alone. While the sector is dominated by multinational players, there is one upstart in Western Canada determined to do better in the waste management space.
Big Isn’t Always Better
Started in Edmonton five years ago and now in Regina, Local Waste Services applies a local-first lens on the waste management business—with great success. “Our industry has about twenty multinational players,” says Local Waste CEO Chris LaBossiere. “While being a massive company can provide some efficiencies, organizations that large often lose the connection to the people and places they serve. Our size and our commitment to our communities make us stand out from all the rest.”
Its size makes Local Waste a much nimbler venture, able to better serve its customers when the market changes suddenly—like in a global pandemic. “When COVID-19 hit, we worked with our customers and their contracts to help them when they needed it most. A large multinational can’t sit down with each customer to help out in extraordinary times.”
Today and the Future
The company owns a landfill just south of Regina servicing commercial and industrial customers—and will open a state-of-the-art commercial recycling facility in the R.M. of Sherwood this spring. “Our new facility will better manage waste for the construction and demolition industry than anything currently available in the Regina area,” says LaBossiere. “Instead of materials going directly to the landfill, we’re able to sort and divert clean wood, metal and other materials from the waste stream and extract value from it.”
This different approach, instead of the simple ‘lift and dump’, benefits every point in the waste cycle from the customer to the community. Customers will have usable materials returned (such as metal and steel) after sorting at Local Waste. Others will benefit from biochar—the carbon-rich soil enhancer valuable to the agriculture industry—that is generated from agricultural waste.
“Local Waste is happy to be investing this capital into Regina to help the city become one step closer to achieving their green goals,” says Thomas Pomerleau, Local Waste managing partner for Saskatchewan. “We’re looking forward to opening the facility this spring.”
Local Waste is also working on a new waste program, eyeing the opportunities presented by food recycling in Saskatchewan. “The opportunity in food recycling for Saskatchewan is massive. Plus, it will also allow us to engage with Indigenous business,” says LaBossiere. “We’ve signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with FHQ Developments, and we’re excited to see what will happen next.”
Allisha Grigg, customer engagement representative with Local Waste and food security advocate, is also energized by the opportunities the company is bringing to Regina. “As we design the opportunity to bring yard and food waste to a natural full circle, we also know the importance of community awareness and program excellence,” says Grigg. “Local Waste proposes an annual award program that would celebrate the best of our program stakeholders.” Grigg sees her connections to food sustainability cementing the bonds she and Local Waste are building in the community. “Through conversations with individuals in Regina’s food and restaurant industry, we were excited to hear the enthusiasm and resounding support for the organics program we’re proposing.”
The Bottom Line
While Local Waste may be a smaller player with big ideas, it can also compete when it comes to price. While the company modernizes the sector with its waste stream innovations, it also offers competitively priced solutions to customers of all sizes. “Not only are we preventing unnecessary waste from going to the landfill, diverting recyclables and offering usable waste products for industry, we’re also an affordable choice in the market,” says LaBossiere. “Innovation doesn’t mean expensive.”
The Local in Local Waste
There is also much meaning behind the company’s name. Their commitment to the ‘local’ in Local Waste is apparent. Active in the communities they serve, they see the value in giving back. Local Waste has been involved with various local charities in Edmonton, and the same continues in Regina as they grow their footprint. “I believe in supporting the communities we live and work in and Local Waste has stood beside all my efforts to be involved in projects that are close to my heart,” says Grigg. “Most recently, we had our roll-off bins on the ground when heavy winds caused a disaster of debris from ice fishing shacks at Regina Beach.” She worked with the Town of Regina Beach to make sure there were free bins to take the massive amount of waste in. Grigg is also working with volunteers to set up the Cathedral Community Fridge in Regina. “We have donated our bins at their site and will keep them there for the community’s efforts to bring hunger in the area to an end. I am immensely proud to work with Local Waste and I’m proud to engage in the community on their behalf.”
Don’t Waste Any Time
Local Waste is ready to handle the waste you’re looking to manage. With its engineered landfill that meets or exceeds Ministry of Environment standards and a brand-new construction and demolition recycling facility, there isn’t much that Local Waste can’t handle. Plus, Local Waste means local with its commitment to their team, their customers, their community, and the ecosystem. “Don’t confuse local with unsophisticated,” says LaBossiere. “Local for us is dynamic, dedicated and flexible—everything you need in an innovative waste management company.”
Learn more at localwaste.ca or call (306) 522.6666 for information.