environmental audit


Progress report prepared by Green Workplace – March 2014


This Solid Waste & Recycling assessment was conducted to review and quantify the contents of the solid waste and recycling streams for Clover Earthkind Hair Salon at 678 Richards Street, Vancouver BC.

This assessment has been designed to focus on:

– annual volume of waste sent to landfill or incineration
– annual volume of waste successfully diverted from landfill or incineration
– the contents of the waste and recycling stream
– quantification of greenhouse gases reduced through recycling and waste diversion
– general green initiatives enacted or in operation at Clover Earthkind at the time of this report
– As a followup to the 2009 baseline waste assessment and 2010 & 2011 progress report conducted by Green Workplace


Clover Earthkind set aside 1 week’s worth (5 working days) of salon waste and recyclables. Green Workplace then weighed 1-week worth of categorized waste to create an annual profile of salon garbage and diverted or recycled waste materials.

In 2010 a new category, organic waste, was added because Clover Earthkind has implemented a compost collection service.

Key Findings

~Clover Earthkind successfully recycles and/or diverts 99% of its solid waste stream, up from 95% in 2011, 85% in 2010 and 77% in 2009. The average diversion rate in Canada is only 20% per person per year. Resulting GHG reduction: 2.5 tonnes per year.

~Clover Earthkind generates an estimated 1.3 kg of garbage (to landfill) per year, down from 13kg in 2011, 83 kg in 2010 and 132 kg in 2009. The categorical breakdown of waste in 2011 indicates that almost all of the reduction in landfilled waste was a result of diverting organic waste to the compost. By contrast, Canadians generate an average of 383 kg of garbage per person per year. Therefore Clover Earthkind Salon (the entire business) generates 97% less garbage than a single average Canadian person while employing approximately 10 staff and serving approximately 7,000 customers per year.

~Most of the .2% of the solid waste stream that is not recycled consists of types of garbage for which recycling facilities do not yet exist (e.g. co-mingled waste and styrofoam). In 2009, we suggested that a diversion rate of 80% would be feasible by 2010. Clover Earthkind has clearly surpassed this target (99% diversion).

~The reduction of waste generated since 2013 is the result of more aggressive sorting collection of special uncommon recyclables such as soft plastics and non-blue-box plastics #3, #6 and #7.

~Clover Earthkind has researched a recycling solution for three common work-related garbage items that are usually sent to landfill. These include hair clippings, foil colour tubes and aluminum foil from hair colouring. A fourth uncommon recyclable, soft plastic film and plastic bags, was added to the recycling program in 2011. A new category, random metals (e.g. razor blades, foil carton cutting edges) was added in June 2013. Recycling these unconventional items reduced the total amount of garbage produced by the Salon by 27% or 149 kg per year in 2011.

~Given the excellent waste reduction practices in place at Clover Earthkind as well as improvements realized in the last two years, Clover Earthkind continues to qualify for Green Workplaceís Green Office Champions Certification.

Clover Earthkind’s Solid Waste Diversion Rate:

Diversion Rate Methodology

The diversion rate in 99% in 2014, up from 98% in 2011, from 85% in 2010 and 77% in 2009.  The diversion rate has been calculated using the following formula:

Weight of of Garbage + Weight

A comparison of data from 2009 to 2011 shows that in almost every case, the proportion of each category being recycled has increased with time. The mass of recyclables is getting greater as the mass of garbage is getting smaller which is to be expected since operations have remained mostly constant but more of that garbage is being diverted to recycling.

How Much Waste is Being Generated and Where Does it all Go?


Clover Earthkind generates an estimated 1.3 kilograms of garbage per year, down from 13kg in 2011, 83 kg in 2010 and 132 kg per year in 2009. By comparison, the average Canadian person generates 383 kg of garbage per year. The salon has 10 employees and serves approximately 7,000 customers per year. This equates to just .2 grams of garbage generated per customer per visit, down from 1.9 grams in 2011, 11 grams per customer in 2010 and 23 grams per customer per visit in 2009. We found no contamination by mass (i.e. recyclables or compostables) in the sample of garbage that was sorted and analyzed.Also, the contamination in the recyclable items (i.e. garbage in recyclables) was virtually nil. This indicates that waste sorting is very effective.

Mixed Paper (22% of total)

Mixed paper is successfully collected and recycled through Recycling Alternatives,
keeping an estimated 119 kilograms of paper out of the landfill each year.

NEW: Organics (19% of total)

In 2010, Clover Earthkind began an in-house composting service. All organic waste is collected in a lined bin provided and serviced by Growing City, who also collect the compost on a weekly basis. Clover Earthkind composted approximately 107 kg of organics waste in the last year, which would otherwise be sent to landfill. Compost use has almost doubles since 2010 by all staff as a result of more staff education and staff engagement to compost as many items as possible.

Recyclable Containers (26% of total)

(Plastics: 1,2,4,5, glass and aluminum)

Green Workplace estimates that Clover Earthkind successfully recycles 140 kilograms of recyclable plastics and mixed containers each year. Recyclable Containers are placed in clearly marked blue bins by salon staff and clientele and are then recycled by Recycling Alternatives. There was an above average amount of recyclable containers this year, this may be due to the fact that some of Clover’s hair product suppliers no longer sell product in bulk which means refillable bottles can no longer be used.

Aluminum Foil & Colour Tubes (15% of total)

Aluminum foil (for hair dye) and aluminum colour tubes are compressed into bricks by salon staff and sold to a local metal salvage company, diverting 85 kilograms of aluminum from landfill annually.

Cardboard (4% of total)

Clover Earthkind recycles an estimated 20 kilograms of cardboard each year.
Cardboard amounts vary considerably from week to week, and depending on the week selected to sample the waste this may affect the projected annual totals which are lower than average this year (only one box present at time of sampling). It is reasonable to assume that the total amount of cardboard recycled may be actually closer to 2009 and 2010 values of 73 kg/year.

Hair (7% of total)

An uncommon recyclable, hair clippings comprise an estimated 39 kilograms/year of diverted waste. Thus far, the salon has donated hair clippings to local individuals, who have used it as a backyard wildlife deterrent. Clover Earthkind also donated hair to NFP Excess to be used in the clean up of local oil spills.

Non-Commonly Recyclable Plastics (2% of total) includes plastics 3,6,7 & non-numbered plastics

2% (13 kg/year) of Clover Earthkind’s solid waste stream is comprised of non commonly recyclable plastics, which are separated, stored and recycled. Clover staff do an excellent job of making the extra effort to separate and recycle the plastic lids from paper coffee cups and then recycling the paper cups in the paper recycling.

Additional Recycling

In 2011, Clover Earthkind began to collect other unconventional recyclables for recycling. These include electronic devices including hair dryers and aerosol containers.
In that year, 2.6 kg of electronics and 4.0 kg of aerosol containers have been collected that would have otherwise
been thrown away. The amount accumulated to date was not measured in 2013. These recyclables may form their own waste category in future waste assessments.


Greenhouse Gases Savings

By committing to their rigorous diversion and recycling program, Clover Earthkind saves an estimated 2.5 tonnes of Greenhouse gases each year by recycling and composting which is a significant achievement. 2.5 tonnes is equivalent to driving a regular car 11,300 km.

Clover Earthkind’s Other Green Initiatives Green Workplace has verified the following green initiatives have been implemented at Clover Salon:

Salon Construction

~low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints
~environmentally compatible flooring (part recycled/allergy free)
~compact fluorescent lighting (all but 4 bulbs in the entire salon)
~used sinks (5)/doors for esthetics room (purchased from restore)
~recycled aluminum chandeliers
~used/renewed furnishings ~ all reception furniture (desk, couch, 2 chairs) all 8 stylist chairs
~recycled glass tiles (placed with non-toxic adhesive)
~reclaimed wood stations and shelves (stained with locally made/non-toxic varnish)
~energy efficient appliances


~recycled facial tissue
~reuse of any small containers as sample containers to avoid purchase of non-recyclable plastic sachets
~wild-crafted or organic hair care (shampoos etc.) and other retail products made by companies with strong environmental initiatives
~vegetable-based/ammonia-free permanent/chemically-diminished colours
~natural/organic and chemically-diminished makeup, skin care and nail polish
~100% animal cruelty-free products
~100% recycled fibre (also biodegradable) retail bags
~cards and gift certificates printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper with vegetable inks
~biodegradable/locally made non-toxic cleaners (dish soap, laundry soap, glass cleaner etc.)
~biodegradable garbage bags
~refill program – clients can return old bottles of product for a discounted refill. No new plastic needs to be used or made
~advertising through sustainable local magazines
~BC’s first Bullfrog powered salon (as of August 2009)
~organics collection (compost)
~staff education on reducing water use where possible
~soft plastic and cellophane recycling
~small electronics recycling
~bulb / battery / ink cartridge recycling
~all lights and tools plugged into powerbars. This leaves nothing wasting energy overnight.
~a $2 fine to charity for any staff for bringing in any non-recyclable/compostable take-out containers (styrofoam etc.) to reduce such things being brought into the shop (as of 2011).