June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day, a day for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples.
The Haisla Nation Community Clean Up
ABC Recycling recently worked with the Haisla Nation to assist in their spring community clean up. We removed end-of-life vehicles and provided a bin to recycle household appliances in preparation for their next clean up.
The Haisla, meaning “dwellers downriver”, have occupied lands for over 9,000 years. Today, the Haisla people are centered in Kitamaat Village. Home to about half of the 1,700 Haisla, Kitamaat Village sits at the head of the Douglas Channel in British Columbia. The balance of the Haisla lives elsewhere in the region or in Greater Vancouver. To learn more about the Haisla Nation visit: https://haisla.ca/
We are sharing stories from some of our Vancouver Island frontline staff. These are the ABC team members who are showing up every day and connecting face-to-face with our customers. Our frontline team members have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to helping keep our company in motion.
Shirley is our scale operator and administrative assistant at the Campbell River Yard and has been employed in this position since July 11, 2005. Her duties cover, but are not limited to: answering and directing phone calls and walk-ins; completing monthly inspections and entering them into the DAT program; and processing monthly customer payments.
“I have not had any issues during this time as a frontline worker. The company has installed a sneeze guard in the office, which makes customers feel a little safer. I am thankful that my employment has not been affected at this time. I feel the company has done an excellent job in responding to the changes needed at this time and supplied us with items to keep us healthy and safe.”
Barb takes care of our office administration and all the steel sales at our Campbell River location.
“Our office is small and so it has been a challenge to keep everyone safe. But for the most part, I think everyone is doing a great job!”
Shane has been with the ABC Campbell River team for 4.5 years. He began employment as a machine operator and for the past year moved into the retail sales division.
“I enjoy the interactions with the customers and how they leave pleased with our service. Retail sales have been very busy during this time. I guess everyone is home doing their projects. The company has put into place systems that will keep us all safe and healthy. We haven’t missed a beat here in Campbell River.”
Deb is the office manager in Nanaimo. She covers the scale daily for breaks or if Dani is on vacation, as well as dealing with retail sales customers.
“Working during this pandemic has forced me to look at how to perform regular duties in a different way. I try to remember that everyone is finding their way in this “new normal” which means that patience is one thing that I am trying to make a priority. I’ve had good feedback from customers regarding our new COVID protocols as generally they appreciate the fact, we are trying to keep them safe. With each transaction taking a little longer than it used to, we have time to create stronger relationships which I think will be beneficial when the market makes a comeback.”
Dani Gaucher is the administrative assistant/scale operator for ABC in Nanaimo. She is the first point of contact for many customers, whether it be by phone or face-to-face as they walk through the door or roll on the scale. Essentially, she guides the beginning stages for a customer at our facility and works with both the individual and her coworkers to make the customer experience as smooth and positive as is possible. She also works side-by-side with the Office Manager, and communicates with the Operations Manager, Regional Manager, and Business Development people regularly to ensure that the discussed or expected process for a customer or procedure is followed.
“In the beginning of this pandemic, I bowed out of work for a week as I was triggered by having been sick a lot when I was younger. I have fought several respiratory infections and almost died from one. Thankfully, I didn’t stay in that place for long. Essentially this pandemic has created changes in daily routine in our office workspace, not unlike anywhere we go these days. The most curious thing to me is just our individual quirks as human beings, and how we react and/or respond to what happens around us. When a pandemic occurs, it elicits both fear and powerlessness and this makes some individuals noticeably more uncomfortable than others. I have listened a few extra minutes here and there to customers that just need to talk, and I have also used my voice to ask customers to take another step back when needed – reminding them it is not meant as a personal attack, but that there is a bigger picture and it is important to keep safe. I have thanked customers for their patience, just like I normally would. We have adapted our space here the best we can for social distancing, and for the most part, customers are now used to the distancing measures still being practiced today.”
Did you know that 1 in 5 Canadians experience a mental illness in any given year? Looking after your mental health is imperative to your overall health. Being emotionally healthy has a positive effect on your productivity and effectiveness in activities such as work, school, or caregiving. In addition, it also allows you to adapt to changes in your life and cope with adversity.
Mental health and wellness are core to our well-being. ABC Recycling is committed to supporting the well-being of its employees and their families. Our decision to make a gift to the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation in support of the new Mental Health & Substance Use Wellness Centre was the perfect fit for us.
Supporting our Community
The new Centre is tentatively set to open this summer as part of the first phase of Royal Columbian Hospital’s redevelopment. The 75-bed facility has been under construction for the last three years. It’s now ready to start providing inpatient and outpatient care, as well as educational and research opportunities.
Outpatient services are a cornerstone of mental health treatment. The goal is to prevent people from needing admission to hospital by providing timely and high-quality mental health care in an outpatient setting.
Royal Columbian Hospital is Fraser Health’s education hub for UBC’s Psychiatry Residency Program, and the new facility will have more space to teach medical students, psychiatry residents, psychologists, nursing students, and other health professionals. Royal Columbian is the only hospital in BC with trauma, cardiac, neurosciences, high-risk maternity, and neonatal intensive care on one site. It is also one of Fraser Health’s three primary COVID-19 sites.
Our frontline team members have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to help keep our company in motion. These are the ABC team members who are showing up every day and connecting face-to-face with our customers. Here are some of their stories:
Paul is our Yard Supervisor in Surrey. He manages the warehouse and helps coordinate the daily yard work.
“When COVID-19 started, I didn’t think much of it until rules and regulations started to be put in place. Being on the front line and working with staff and customers has made it more clear that people need to be cleaner to avoid spreading germs, and maintain physical distancing.”
Manni started off as our security guard in Surrey and has joined our team as our Scale Operator.
“During this pandemic, I have been a full-time scale operator during regular business hours. I feel honored to provide excellent service to clients and be able to still assist them during this difficult time. It is not only hard for us, but also hard for them. Working together and facing our fears together has made us all stand strong.
Mohan is our scale operator in Burnaby.
“I deal with customers; I weigh the loads, I send emails, I give customers papers, and I receive them too. However, since the start of the pandemic, I haven’t been touching any papers that come into contact with customers. Instead, I take a picture of the papers from customers and then I print them. It has been a scary and difficult time during the pandemic but our company has been doing a great job in taking the necessary precautionary measures such as providing hand sanitizers, only allowing customers in one at a time, and practicing social distancing. The best thing is that everyone is using precautions at work. Even before I start my shift I wipe the keyboard, pen, sliding door and nobs, and counter. Not only for the safety of myself but others as well, and so far at work, we are all safe.”
Delano Low Kontou
Delano is from our non-ferrous warehouse team in Burnaby. He receives, grades and weighs material brought in by customers. He organizes and upgrades material as well as helps out throughout the yard as needed.
“As a warehouse employee, I am in close proximity to the drivers and customers that bring in material daily. During this pandemic, I feared that I was at a high risk of getting Covid-19 because I did not know where these customers have been, who they might have come in contact with, combined with the number of people I am in contact with daily. One positive outcome is that with more time spent at home, I was able to teach myself how to cook.”
These stories by our staff inspire us to do our best during these trying times. We hope you stay safe!
Today marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Today marks the opportunity to call attention to the importance of recycling in reducing pollution and conserving our natural resources. Metal recycling is one of the primary examples of such essential conservation practices. Metals are valuable materials that can be recycled again and again without degrading their properties, however only 30% is currently recycled worldwide.
Greenhouse emissions are greatly reduced when recycling metals compared to mining raw ore. Mining raw ore requires the use of machines, fuel, manpower and more to produce a final product.
Here are some common metals and the amount of energy that is saved when we recycle them:
92% for Aluminum
90% for Copper
56% for Steel
By recycling one ton of steel we conserve 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal, and 120 pounds of limestone. Recycling one ton of aluminum conserves up to 8 tons of bauxite ore and 14-megawatt hours of electricity. These savings are just the tip of the iceberg that our Industry contributes to energy conservation.
Recycling plays a role In managing and combatting the current COVID-19 pandemic as recycled metal and other commodity‐grade materials feed critical manufacturing operations. These materials are then used to produce the rebar, wiring, tubing, transportation, packaging, and other key materials needed for everything from the construction of hospitals to the manufacture of new hospital beds, ventilators, and other essential supplies. Recycling is both essential to the health of the planet – and to the health of individuals.
Jalen Cruz has been with ABC Recycling for the last 5 years. He started off his career sorting at the warehouse, and has now moved into learning more about customer service through his every day interactions at the front scale. He aims to be more well-rounded and knowledgeable in operations, so he is not afraid to take on this new role. “It has been a good experience growing with ABC, I am learning a lot and I want to keep expanding my knowledge.” This is how Jalen looks at his new challenge in being at the forefront of our business greeting clients every day.
Behind Jalen is another person who has also grown and developed her talents in leading the scale, Lisa Olaru. Lisa came to ABC with a background in scrap metal from a previous employer. Today she has grown and now leads the changes at the scale with their Manager, Steve Pimentel. She aims to make systems more efficient, organized and customer service oriented.
Both Jalen and Lisa have said that the best part of working at ABC is the environment and its people. “It’s like we are one big family, everyone is happy and helpful” says Lisa. Over the next year the two aim to continue learning and developing their skills to provide outstanding customer service to ABC’s customers, and to also create a more welcoming experience for all.
For the second year in a row, our very own Commercial Buyer for Vancouver Island, Eric Kirschner, participated in the 55+ BC Games in Kelowna. Eric is actively fighting prostate cancer which has recently spread to his bones.
From September 10-14th, 2019, thousands of participants and supporters came together to celebrate sport and fun with friends from across British Columbia. Eric’s strong will, heart, and pure determination resulted in him finishing third in his age category in the 1,500-meter power walk event!!! Congratulations Eric! You are an inspiration to us all.
The 55+ multi-sport annual BC Games were first organized in 1987, with the assistance of the Provincial Government, Sport, Recreation and Development branch, for the older adults of BC, as a direct bearing on their quality of life.
Did you know that 1 in 7 Canadian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime? From November 1-30 please consider participating in Movember by growing a moustache and raising awareness about prostate cancer. Since 2003 Movember has funded more than 1,250 men’s health projects around the world, challenging the status quo, shaking up men’s health research and transforming the way health services reach and support men.
In solidarity with Eric’s fight, ABC Recycling will be joining the Movember movement where our team will Grow a Mo’ to Save a Bro’. The winner will be selected by Eric Kirschner at the end of November and a donation will be made to the Canadian Cancer Society on their behalf.
Sam Sladich joined our ABC Surrey team in November 2017, bringing with him 4 years of supply chain experience working at a plastics manufacturing company. Sam’s career at ABC began in Retail Sales and he recently transitioned into the role of Operations Manager. Sam describes Retail Sales as a fluid job which exposed him to nearly everything in our Surrey operation, thus preparing him well for his new role.
The positive culture and good support systems are what Sam likes best about working at ABC. His crew support and help one another.
Getting immersed in the day-to-day operations and being face-to-face with his crew and customers are the things Sam most enjoys about his job. And when he doesn’t know the answer to something he has learned to ask questions!