Times Colonist

Vic­to­ria hair salon help­ing to cut amount of mask and glove waste

- PEDRO ARRAIS Infectious Diseases · Accessories · Fashion · Fashion & Beauty · Health Conditions · Vancouver · Facebook · Gloves

A lo­cal salon is do­ing its part to make a pos­i­tive dif­fer­ence dur­ing the pan­demic by ac­cept­ing dis­pos­able masks and gloves from the pub­lic.

On Mon­day, The Nat­u­ral hair salon on View Street put a box out­side the salon invit­ing peo­ple to drop off any used per­sonal pro­tec­tion equip­ment they might have col­lected dur­ing the pan­demic.

“We de­cided to act be­cause of a lack of any guid­ance by the gov­ern­ment on their dis­posal. We’re pretty sick of the en­vi­ron­men­tal dam­age they cause, after hear­ing of masks end­ing up in the ocean and an­i­mals trapped in the strings,” said Natalie Grun­berg- Fer­reira, gen­eral man­ager of the salon. “We are al­ready equipped to han­dle the vol­ume of PPE em­ploy­ees and clients use ev­ery day.”

She said the used PPE will be sent to a fa­cil­ity in Van­cou­ver run by the Green Cir­cle Salon pro­gram, which al­ready col­lects waste from 16,000 beauty sa­lons across Canada.

The pro­gram re­cy­cles, re­cov­ers or re­pur­poses typ­i­cal waste from sa­lons, such as hair clip­pings, hair colourants and sin­gle-use items, such as nail files, wax­ing strips and cot­ton swabs.

Be­cause the dis­pos­able masks and gloves could be con­tam­i­nated, they will be in­cin­er­ated to cre­ate en­ergy, with the left­over ash used as a filler in as­phalt.

Grun­berg-Fer­reira said the salon will likely in­cur ex­tra costs to cover an in­crease in vol­ume, but it’s “just the cost of do­ing busi­ness.”

Grun­berg- Fer­reira hopes the ini­tia­tive will spur other sa­lons into of­fer­ing the same ser­vice.

“If they are part of the Green Cir­cle Salon pro­gram, the sys­tem is al­ready in place to re­ceive the items. All they have to do is get the word out and be part of the so­lu­tion.”

She said the col­lec­tion pro­gram is safe for both the pub­lic and em­ploy­ees. The col­lec­tion box will be lo­cated out­side, so no­body has to come into the salon to drop off items.

When the box is full, it is sealed and in­cluded in the pro­gram’s reg­u­lar col­lec­tion process.

The en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion depart­ment at the Cap­i­tal Re­gional District, which over­sees house­hold waste in the cap­i­tal re­gion, said PPE is not con­sid­ered a bio­haz­ard and can be dis­posed of in a house­hold’s reg­u­lar garbage.

“Dis­pos­able prod­ucts like dis­in­fect­ing wipes, pa­per tow­els, face masks and rub­ber gloves are not part of the pro­vin­cial re­cy­cling pro­gram and should be put in your garbage in a sealed bag,” said Russ Smith, se­nior man­ager of en­vi­ron­men­tal re­source man­age­ment with the CRD. “If th­ese items are in your blue box, your re­cy­clables will not be col­lected.”

While Grun­berg- Fer­reira would have liked some level of gov­ern­ment ac­tion on used PPE, she un­der­stands why it isn’t hap­pen­ing. “The gov­ern­ment is busy right now fight­ing COVID19. Some­times busi­nesses can be ahead of the curve on such ini­tia­tives.”

While it is not ask­ing for pay­ment to safely dis­pose of used PPE, the salon will ac­cept new toys for its an­nual Christ­mas toy drive, which has a goal of do­nat­ing 500 toys for this year’s CFAX San­tas Anony­mous.

For more in­for­ma­tion, go to then­at­u­ral­hair­sa­lon.com or Face­book.

 ?? ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST ?? Natalie Grun­berg-Fer­reira, owner of The Nat­u­ral Hair Salon, shows off the mask-re­cy­cling re­cep­ta­cle in front of her busi­ness on View Street.
ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST Natalie Grun­berg-Fer­reira, owner of The Nat­u­ral Hair Salon, shows off the mask-re­cy­cling re­cep­ta­cle in front of her busi­ness on View Street.

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