This is an inspiring article posted by an employee at Westmount Florist in Montreal….check out their great website 

 Since the end of August 2010, I’ve been asked to take on the task of finding more ways to make our store more environmentally friendly. I was encouraged to notice some actions that were already done; all the lights of the building have been changed to more energy efficient fixtures, the cardboard and some paper goes to a pulp and paper company for recycling. The next important step was clear; we had to separate all the garden waste from garbage and recyclable material. The flower industry produces a lot of flower residue that is compostable and uses a lot of packaging materials that are recyclable.

The first challenge was to figure out how we could dispose of the recyclable materials once sorted out, because these are not services readily available to businesses. Actually, by the time I sorted out the waste management challenges, the city of Westmount had put up a recycling program for businesses. But this still did not resolve our flower waste dilemma.  Services that collect compost at your door are too expensive for the quantity of garden waste we generate. After some searching, I discovered that composting is available in the city of Westmount if you bring it to Public Works. They have containers for recycling materials, composting and garden waste, metal scraps, old electronics, wood, etc. Lucky for us, we have a big delivery truck that we can use to transport our waste.

Now that I knew how we would get rid of the waste produced, it was time to set up containers within the shop for everyone to sort the materials we use. Using the containers we already had on hand, my co-workers and I reorganized and labeled the different containers. The initial idea of having to sort our waste, of having to think in which container the materials go, caused mixed feelings. Some co-workers were excited at the prospect that we were going recycle and others grumbled about this.

But once the system was set up, I was surprised to see how willing everyone was to participate. Even those that grumbled were picking out pieces of paper out of the garden waste bin. I was so excited by the progress we had achieved in such a short time. The system isn’t perfect, adjustments will need to be made, but people are on board and that is the most important element. Already, we can see an impact on the amount of garbage we put to the curb. The difference is remarkable.