Recycling and Garbage Program

Hello my fellow hackers,
I am looking at implementing a recycling program at the shop due to the complete and utter lack there of. Plastic bottles, spray cans, cardboard, paper and wood are all recyclable materials that are constantly filling our garbage bins needlessly wasting money on items that should be properly disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner that is also free.

I am not saying I am a saint in this matter as I have found myself falling in with the herd so to speak while at the shop at times but at home I am extremely diligent when it comes to recycling. I would like to contact the city to acquire some recycling bins and obtain signage as to proper protocols to post around the shop areas that need them most.

Also we would need to either set up a pick up schedule with our current garbage disposal company or I can volunteer to use my truck once every 2 weeks to collect and dispose of the recycling through the proper channels with some compensation for gas monies.

Any thoughts hive mind?


I love it. The DMZ/large project storage area has a bit of space earmarked for recycling bins. We can do official floor markings once the current batch of garbage is gone.

I am very much in favour of ending our relationship with Revolution. Between the non-pick ups, the run-around, and the carelessness of drivers leaving the dumpster unlocked, resulting in it getting half-filled with non-hackspace garbage, I think we need to look at getting our waste management needs met elsewhere. @xquared, are you able to fill us in on what it would take to get us moved over to another company, if we had one in mind?


the bottom 2 shelves of the old server rack are designed to hold 2 recycle bins. neither are currently labeled and 1 is currently electronics.

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we need to cancel the current contract, which was coming to an end next March, however, due to Covid induced suspension of service, i don’t know how that affects the contract length. We might not be able to get out of it for an extra half a year?

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Should we immediately try to get out of our Revolution contract?

Perhaps institute a pack-in-pack-out policy for a while for anything that doesn’t have a designated recycling bin (with an active champion to manage it).

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Yes I agree. We used to take our garbage home back in the day. Let’s do that again. Given the numbers gotta save cash anyway possible.

Edit: if we can - not sure how that contract is set up.

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Not an argument against it, but this was tried and died because nobody took ownership and everything ended up just overflowing. If you are willing to champion it, folks will comply up until it becomes more convenient not to.

I agree about cancelling revolution and encouraging pack in pack out. There will be some problems with deciding who takes out things like emptying the shop vac or laser charcoal, etc… There’s a shocking amount of trash that’s piled up that isn’t anyone’s direct responsibility.


We could also go with a cheaper service, or renegotiate a pick up every other month.
In terms of expenses, though, i would say waste management is chump change.

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I agree with Mimi… waste management is chump change and is just a price of doing business. We can however mitigate that by recycling, looking for a better contract. packing out trash such as food waiste and organics.u

I hear ya on garbage collection being chump change. Mebbe it’s my Ulster Scot kicking in but I think we can still penny pinch on that.

Thinking back – VHS only recently started paying for garbage collection (with the move to Cook St where it was included in the lease and split with the rest of the building). I know it’s a small amount but these things can add up.

VHS members used to bring in everything - garbage bags, printer paper, toilet paper (if you were heading to the space, you’d often bring a roll down lol or occasionally donate a pack), cleaning supplies, etc., literally every single consumable thing was supplied by members as a donation.

Moving to Venables somehow shifted that. Time to go back to that imo, until we are at least not in the red every month.

Edit: should add a thanks to the many members who have donated consumables now and in the past.


Yeah, I’m not impressed with Revolution either. One of their drivers cut me off as they ignored a stop sign, and then gave me the finger when I honked at him.

I think a business of our size can probably manage taking the trash to the transfer station ourselves and save a bunch of money.


That’s insane. No pressure but I hope you reported that driver. Running a stop sign sign is a good way to kill someone or cause life-changing injuries.

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I just got the copies of our contract with Revolution, let me see if there’s a good every-other-month plan we can get with @gorn’s contact and drop Revolution asap.


Either way we want to go I am on board. I do think if we decide to not go with a pick up service, there would need to a lot of communication as to when garbage runs are done and how much the person doing them will be compensated. (Gas, Time, Dump Fees).


I took a car load of cardboard down to the recycling today. I don’t think that having a cardboard recycling bin inside the space is a good fit for us, as it tends to get over filled, and then emptying it again becomes a problem unto itself. I think we’d be better off either putting it directly in the bin outside or packing it home.

How is the replacement for revolution project coming along?


Thanks for doing that! Our contract with Revolution ends in a couple months, and I will have proposals for alternatives lined up so that we can make the switch then.


Thanks so much!
That space is so much better.
Which recycling place do you bring it to?

To find a recycling place that is closest to you check out

The closest depot to VHS is Powell Street Return-It Bottle Depot
1856 Powell St, Vancouver, BC V5L 1H9, Contact: 604-253-4987

For bigger stuff (wood waste etc) North Shore Recycling Transfer Station
30 Riverside Dr, North Vancouver, BC V7H 1T4, Contact: 604-681-5600