Calgary business puts city waste to work - Vote for Alberta's finalist in the race for $100,000 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award Grand Prize

CALGARY, May 29, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) announced today that the turning-point project, "Waste with Purpose," submitted by local businessman, Devin Goss, will represent Alberta in the finals of the 2014 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award (BDC YEA).

Devin's project will allow his recycling and waste diversion company, BluPlanet Recycling Inc., to extend the City of Calgary's recycling and planned compostable organics program for single-family residential neighborhoods to local multi-residential developments and small businesses. To claim the $100,000 Grand Prize and help his city divert more waste from landfill, Devin needs votes from Canadians coast-to-coast.

Five years ago, BluPlanet's founders saw an opportunity when the City of Calgary launched a new commingled recycling program – residents no longer had to separate their recyclables for collection day – that was available only to single-family homes. BluPlanet took action to provide the same service to thousands of multi-family residences and small businesses that were left to individually seek out private service providers. The company now intends to fill a similar need with a new compostable organics collection program.

"The most challenging component of Calgary's long-term waste-diversion strategy is compostable organics, such as kitchen scraps," says Devin. "But it's an important one to tackle, as it represents a substantial amount of the household waste that goes into landfills.  A great environmental benefit can be realized by composting this material for agricultural and other uses."

In five years, BluPlanet has grown from two guys working out of a garage into a business with a staff of 12 that serves more than 15,000 multi-family residences and over 200 businesses. The company expects to divert 1,250 tonnes of material from Calgary's landfills this year.

Like the commingled recycling program in 2009, the City's planned compostable organics collection service will again be limited to single-family homes, creating another void the BluPlanet team is ready to fill. While it has begun a compostable-organics collection service, BluPlanet currently relies on a simple collection-and-transfer system. The company now has the opportunity to expand the scope and capacity of this side of its business, from one tonne of waste a day to over 20, with its composting partner, Bio-Cycle Nutrient Solutions. This move requires fresh capital to invest in new trucks and specialized handling equipment.

"Each of this year's finalists has shared a compelling story about how their business stands at that crucial crossroads where the right mix of vision and action can secure future growth and success," says Michel Bergeron, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Public Affairs at BDC. "With their recycling business, Devin and his team demonstrate how a private enterprise can step up to fulfill community needs and provide a win-win solution to all the parties involved."

"BluPlanet provides a valued and affordable service for tenants and property owners, helping them reduce the amount of waste they send to landfill," said Devin. "With your votes, we can do more, by turning today's kitchen scraps and other organic waste into usable materials, such as compost to grow tomorrow's food."

Voting for the 2014 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award contest runs from May 29 to June 12 at noon EST. To support your favourite project, log into the contest website and vote once a day. Follow the contest through updates on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn. Visit bdc.ca/awards to learn other ways in which BDC recognizes Canadian entrepreneurs. The BDC Young Entrepreneur Award winner and runner-up will be announced on June 18. The runner-up will receive $25,000 in consulting services offered by BDC.

About the BDC Young Entrepreneur Award contest
Created by the Business Development Bank of Canada in 1988, the BDC Young Entrepreneur Award contest pays tribute to remarkable Canadian entrepreneurs between 18 and 35.  This year, nine finalists were selected to compete for a $100,000 Grand Prize. A second prize of $25,000 in consulting services offered by BDC will be awarded to the contest runner-up. For the first time in 2014, a national committee evaluated the quality of the finalist projects and gave each finalist a ranking that will be combined with the public vote. The national committee evaluation was weighted to account for 30% of each project's final ranking and the public vote will account for the remaining 70% of the ranking. www.bdc.ca/yea.

About BDC
Canada's business development bank, BDC puts entrepreneurs first. With almost 2,000 employees and more than 100 business centres across the country, BDC offers financing, subordinate financing, venture capital, securitization and consulting services to more than 28,000 small and medium-sized companies. Their success is vital to Canada's economic prosperity.

 

SOURCE: Business Development Bank of Canada

For further information: Maria Constantinescu, Senior Advisor, Public Relations, BDC, maria.constantinescu@bdc.ca, (514) 496-7146

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