Local recycling company thrives
A locally owned and operated company is proof that smart recycling can be good for the environment and business.
Fueled by curiosity, innovation and old shingles and wood waste, Greensite Recycling on Springfield Road is a threegeneration family business that saves area businesses money, keeps reusable materials out of landfills and creates green products needed across the province.
It all started in 2009, when entrepreneur John Krueger, of Krueger Roofing, began looking for options for the vast piles of discarded shingles he took to the dump every week. He discovered technology able to grind shingles down to harvest ingredients needed to make roads. Now, more than a decade later, this shingles-to-roads technology has been adopted by the City of Winnipeg and is being tested by the province. Roofers routinely drop used shingles at Greensite instead of the dump, an option that costs them less, is often closer to their work sites and creates a renewable product that reduces road building costs for governments.
“Our government is making great efforts to invest in eco-friendly infrastructure in support of transforming waste in Manitoba,” Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler said in a news release. “Being able to divert reusable waste from our landfills, such as shingles, allows our province to reduce its environmental footprint and be in the forefront by adopting new and innovative products.”
Ethan Boyer Way, a service road where Manitoba’s government is testing this technology, will use shingles from 45 house-roofs instead of sending them to the dump, where they take roughly 300 years to break down.
Greensite’s shingle-grinder also grinds wood, allowing them to collect downed trees for landscaping mulch and playground material. Hutterites use wood pellets to fuel boilers formerly heated by coal. Differentsized wood chips shore up sloppy or washed out remote roads. Nearby factories previously recycling 30 per cent of their waste now bring 80 per cent of their discarded wood for Greensite to recycle into animal bedding.
Greensite Recycling is just one example of local, green technology providing needed products at reduced prices. There are ways forward, and those willing to pursue curiosity and innovation can find profit, even from things thought best sent to the dump.