Thunder Bay hair salons join international recycling initiative

Cut hair and excess chemicals find a safe home through Green Circle Salons in Thunder Bay, Ont.

By Clare Bonnyman, CBC News Posted: Apr 19, 2016 7:15 AM ET


Evoke Salon & Spa in Thunder Bay, Ont. has recycled over 200 kilograms of solid and liquid waste since joining the the Green Circle Salon program a year ago.

The program includes salons from across Canada and the United States.

Green Circle makes recycling the byproducts of the industry easy by providing bins and containers for the salons to use, and they in turn contact the organization when they need their waste to be picked up.

Amanda Benincasa, the owner and stylist at Evoke says joining the program was an easy decision to make.

“As an owner I felt very responsible to do something,” she said. “It just made perfect sense, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t hear of it sooner.”

The program recycles things like hair foils, colour tubes, chemical waste and the cut hair that falls to the floor, “Things that we were otherwise unable to re-purpose or recycle,” said Benincasa.

The chemicals and bleach from hair treatments get neutralized, and the hair itself is used to create boons, used to help clean up oil spills.

There are still some areas the organization does not yet manage, including esthetician’s equipment like makeup applicators, waxing equipment and the byproducts of pedicures and manicures.

Even so, the effect of the recycling is huge. In the last year alone Green Circle salons recycled over 250,000 kilograms of waste across North America.

And even though it’s a continent-wide organization, for Benincasa it feels very personal.

“We are so blessed to live in Northwestern Ontario,” she said. “As a business owner I think it’s a heightened responsibility, and as a mother, to make sure that I’m doing my part.”

As of right now, Thunder Bay has three Green Circle certified salons, including Streak of Green, Evoke and Modish.

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