In Vancouver, Three New Treatments for Neighbourhood Waste

I love it. This is my dream and vision of how schools and students can create our new world, a “circular economy” where resources are used for as long as possible for the maximum benefit, and at the end of their service lives, be recovered to the fullest extent to be used again. We need to squash our current linear economy, where resources are used and then disposed of. Amazing! Click here to learn more or read an excerpt below. Please share.



How SFU students and alumni are transforming discarded items into everything from meals to furniture.

Buan started Refood to stop edible produce from going into the trash and instead serve it to those who need it. A chef and restaurant owner, he knows a lot of food is wasted because of how it looks.

“It’s dated, surplus food that doesn’t look pretty and can’t be sold, but is still good, as long as we’re able to move fast to freeze it or cook it,” he said.


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A lot of supermarkets throw away produce upon expiry or because it doesn’t look good, but Refood’s Danison Buan says much of it is perfectly edible as long as preparation is acted on fast. Photo submitted by Danison Buan.


New habits for a new economy

Organizers of all three enterprises hope to encourage the public to see waste differently and be more conscious about their daily habits.

Refood’s Buan knows this firsthand. “I have a hard time teaching my own parents to recycle because they just like to throw things into the garbage,” he said.

Education is also a big part of why Kimoto decided to start Uproot. “It’s incredibly difficult for people to feel they can create significant change by simply changing the way they’re living,” he said.

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Kevin Kimoto of Uproot works on menu boards made out of wood waste. Photo submitted by Kevin Kimoto.

It’s why Kimoto likes working with youth and doing public projects. He coaches teachers on how to talk about sustainability with students and is also working on installations at the Museum of Vancouver to explain the circular economy.

He hopes projects like Uproot will inspire others. “We can help by showing people that there are new ways to move forward that are definitely less wasteful than the way we are currently living,” he said.


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