Tag Archives: environment

BinPad hopes to clean up at Dragon’s Den

Mushed newspapers, empty cans and scattered debris is a common site after a windy day.

A windy day leaves recycling bins scattered on the streets.

A windy day leaves recycling bins scattered on the streets.

Sometimes a good Samaritan will be kind enough to pick up the trash, but more often then not, city workers are tasked for clean up duty – at a cost.

It’s that cost to taxpayer’s that had a local man come up with the BinPad Product, an innovation that has entered the Dragon’s Den.

“In February, we attended a open audition for CBC’s Dragon’s Den and are currently waiting for the call back for production filming,” explained Steve Onland. “At this point we are hoping that the Dragon’s Den will prove positive for the product, as well as allowing a business plan and marketing company to take over.”

As a horticulturalist for the city, Onland often provides help in litter cleanup during the offseason or winter months.

Over the last few winters, he found that he and his co-workers spent too much time and taxpayers dollars cleaning up debris from tipped over recycling boxes and garbage cans.

“I began to research and prototype a solution that would assist in keeping these receptacles standing at the curb and reducing the amount of garbage and recycling litter in our city,” he explained.

The BinPad Product is a simple design, yet effective.

The BinPad Product is a simple design, yet effective.

As he looked into creating a prototype, Onland realized there were some major factors that had to be addressed.

“We needed something that would at no time be a hazard or above ground level that would be a liability for residents as well as the municipality,” he said. “We also needed a product that was well built and could withstand temperature changes, as well as not be a eyesore to the public and landscape of our boulevards.”

Another issue was coming up with a product that would be acceptable to the garbage and recycling collectors and wouldn’t hinder their job.

The implementation of BinPad into the city’s garbage services would have major benefits, including cost savings, he added.

Simple in design, the BinPad are small pucks that are attached to the bottom of a recycling bin or garbage can. After an artificial turf is attached to the ground that matches one’s property, the bin will stick to the turf (similar to Velcro) so it won’t fly around on a windy day.

“I have used Hamilton as the springboard for introducing the BinPad and also for hearing what our residents think about the concept and prototype. Most are interested in the product and do see that we need an improvement to the current system,” Onland said. “I have also spent some time speaking with the waste and recycling employees in the city to see if there would be any fallbacks to them using the product on a daily basis.”

Onland noted there has been a small amount of BinPads built for pilot programs, with the hope it becomes visible at public home shows and locations later this year.

Aside from waste flying around, it also creates a permanent location for bins on service days that is away from the roadways and sidewalks.

“(This) reduces the hazards of bins on streets, as well as keeping them stationary when empty and less susceptible to blowing in the wind,” he said. “We are currently working on the BinPad Plus, which is a single pad that connects to the original BinPad and allows the homeowner a pad for waste containers and organic wheel bins.”

The product has also won the 2012 McMcaster Innovation Factory Startoff contest, and plans to enter the Innovation Factory’s Lions Lair Contest on March 26 to April 30.

“I have gained very positive response about the product and hope to canvass to municipalities in Canada and the U.S in the near future,” he said. “We have received inquiries from municipalities in Erie Pennsylvania, Florida and North Carolina. Locally we have been asked by Halton to demonstrate the product to the waste division as soon as the patent and prototypes are approved.”

Onland hopes to begin the pilot programs in the spring, but before engaging in other cities, Onland hopes to solve the problem of flying debris in Hamilton first.

Originally posted in Your Hamilton Biz.

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Number of deer in Grand Forks has stabilized

The number of deer in the City of Grand Forks appears to have stabilized based on a recent deer count.
Announced at the recent environment committee meeting, the count had 154 deer living within the Grand Forks city limits, down from last year’s 179.
Committee chair Cher Wyers explained that the numbers seemed to have peaked.
From 2007, the September count showed 131 deer. In 2008 there were 156 deer, while in 2009 there was a count of 205 deer but the count was completed in early-October, which is later than usual. In 2010, there were 174 deer.
“We’re back to 2008 levels,” said Wyers. “I was in Zone 4, which is the downtown core (Central Avenue, Riverside Drive over to Donaldson Drive and Kettle River Drive) in this area, and the new economy in Grand Forks is deer fencing. The back alleys are amazing.”
Michele Caskey, a member of the committee, said the situation angers her because it all started with people feeding the deer.
“When I first moved here it was a rarity to see a small fawn walking across your lawn and I’d call the children to come and watch the deer – over the years it’s waned in interest,” she explained. “I’m a gardener so I find it disturbing that everyone on my street is building huge fences. We’re holding out because why should we be building fences when our neighbours are feeding the deer?”
Jenny Coleshill, project co-ordinator for the Granby Wilderness Society, agreed with Caskey. “Deer feeding is a big problem and we’ve talked about creating a map and mapping out the different areas where we could put dots for known feeders to see if there is a big difference.”
Board member and city councillor Gary Smith noted that the discussion on population control of the deer would continue.
“Whether or not we apply for a permit to do a cull, it’s not going to be addressed until a later time,” he said. “The grief that Invermere has suffered by the publicity and groups that are opposed to the cull – a lot of those conditions, Grand Forks has overcome.”
Smith pointed out the Grand Forks has an established deer committee that has completed regular counts and has consulted with the public, steps Invermere didn’t do prior to the cull.
Wyers said that the city wanted to learn from Invermere’s process, especially when an activist group such as PETA becomes involved.
“In their case, they had spent over $26,000 in legal fees alone,” she said. “They did win against the two court injunctions, but they were out of their pocket and they missed the season. They culled around 17 to 19 deer. It’s a learning curve for them and for us.”
However, Smith also wanted to note that part of the leveling out in deer population has to do with vehicle and deer collision rates.
“That’s not a better way of culling deer than bolt and trap. In terms of trauma and damage, it’s carnage,” he said. “Grand Forks pays one of the highest rates for vehicle insurance in B.C. because of high incidence of vehicle-deer collisions.”
Coleshill explained that there is also a lot of misinformation about the process of relocation of the deer as well, where wildlife is removed from its current location and placed in a remote location farther away.
“Some people might think that it’s the nicer thing to do over a cull but really it’s pretty brutal for an animal to be relocated and there’s a lot of things to consider such as where are you going to bring those deer,” she said. “If they’re poor town deer and you stick them out in the wild, they’re sitting ducks.”
Though the deer count shows a lower statistic that previous years, the board noted that there was a lot more information that needed to be gathered.

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