Guelph researcher turning ‘Back to the Future’ fuel into reality

Engineer Animesh Dutta is researching how to turn food waste into bio-products

By Clare Bonnyman, CBC News Posted: Aug 21, 2017

Using food waste as fuel, like in this scene from 1989’s Back to the Future 2, is something that could become real, thanks to University of Guelph researcher Animesh Dutta. (UNIVERSAL PICTURES)

Professor Animesh Dutta has never seen the movie Back to The Future, but his latest project bears a striking resemblance to the film.

The University of Guelph engineer is finding a way to turn food waste into fuel.

“Waste is a resource waiting for an opportunity,” Dutta told CBC News.

Continue reading “Guelph researcher turning ‘Back to the Future’ fuel into reality”

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.

‘Revived and Recycled’ fashion sparks new business for Thunder Bay woman

Revived and Recycled brings eco-friendly fashion to Thunder Bay

By Clare Bonnyman, CBC News Posted: Apr 21, 2016 8:00 AM 

A Thunder Bay, Ont. woman is giving old clothing a second life through her new fashion line.

Revived and Recycled by L. Roy features locally made recycled and reused clothing.

It’s a passion project that started a year ago when Line Roy launched an site to sell her creations.

She’s since decided to pursue fashion full time. She retired from her position as secretary at École Catholique Franco-Supérieur in Thunder Bay, and officially launched her new clothing line the following Monday.

She makes clothing in sizes XXS to plus size.

Turning her basement into a studio, Line has collected over 200 pieces of donated, recycled clothing and fabric to be used in her pieces. (Clare Bonnyman/CBC News)

Roy aims to design unique, beautiful clothing for women that come in “the odd sizes,” she said. “I think every woman no matter what size, no matter where they come from or what they do in their life is beautiful.”

Using primarily knits, she focuses on non-restrictive clothing without zippers or ties.

“You can move with the clothing, it’s comfortable,” she said.

“It’s happy clothing.”

Roy’s basement currently holds more than 200 pieces of recycled clothing and fabric, hung on racks, in closets, and stacked on shelves. All of the clothes have been donated by friends, family and clients.

She uses anywhere from 3-10 recycled pieces to create one new dress, and can use a single recycled item to create multiple unique pieces.

Before retiring, Roy would design clothes every evening and weekend, but is thankful now to dedicate herself to the craft full time.

“It’s so much fun I can’t not do it,” she said.

On her ‘shabby-chic’ style, she said it comes together in the moment.

“I love it so much that stuff starts to happen, I rarely have a plan,” she said. “I just figure if you put something together it belongs together.”

Before her official launch, Roy has sold pieces in Canada, the United States and France, and is now hoping to expand even more internationally.

Turning her basement into a studio, Line has collected over 200 pieces of donated, recycled clothing and fabric to be used in her pieces. (Clare Bonnyman/CBC News)