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How it all Began: The Story of Gemaco

Gemaco Asphalt shingle recycling

In 1958 the company ‘Gemaco’ was born from the idea ‘Gem of A Company’. The original owner Garnet Marx, started by selling silos and other farm equipment to municipalities and eventually became the first Mercedes Benz dealer in Kelowna.

Gemaco eventually evolved to focus on selling and reusing waste reduction and heavy duty machinery.   

One lazy Okanagan long weekend, a family of professionals and entrepreneurs open to the possibility of owing a business and working together sat on a patio chatting about wanting to take their lives in a different direction. The discussion revolved around potentially buying ‘Gemaco’ a local business that was sale. Terry had been running family businesses his whole life and was tired of the daily grind. 

About a month later, in Sept 2007, Gemaco was purchased by a team of passionate and driven individuals.  

They knew right away they would have to offer something more. Terry began learning about the various equipment Gemaco offered and was drawn to the Rotochopper RG1 Shingle Grinder.  The team attended the 4th Annual Shingle Grinding Forum in 2009 and re-affirmed their  decision to branch out into an asphalt shingle recycling company.

Hilary came on board working in the company, January 2010, and in February 2010 the first solely dedicated shingle recycling facility in the lower mainland was opened.

 It has been a perfect storm for Terry Charles who states “I am finally in no rush to retire. I’m inspired and enjoying work. Every day I get to do what I love: talking to people, business development, inventing or rather reinventing and spending priceless time with family all while making the world a little bit greener”.Gemaco Asphalt Shingle Recycling

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10 (+1) Tips for getting started with Recycling

Have you always thought about being a recycler, but never got around to setting up an effective recycling system in your house? Well here are 10 (+1) tips every effective recycling household should know (adapted from Country Home Magazine):

1. Find a convenient place to collect recyclable items that is out of sight. Most things come from the kitchen, making it a good spot to set up a recycling center.

2. Recycling lets you put your favorite old containers, bins, or baskets to use. Assign containers for glass, plastic, and aluminum. To avoid messes, choose solid containers for storing items such as glass jars or cans that may have a sticky residue.

3. Don’t throw out plastic bags. Take them back to grocery stores where they are collected and reused to make plastic lumber.

4. Check the bottom of plastic items to identify what type of plastic they are. If the type is not recycled at your local center, consider ways to reuse the container.

5. Save water and time when recycling cans and bottles. You no longer need to rinse them out or remove their labels.

6. Recycle junk mail or reuse it as scratch paper, or better yet, opt-out of certain junk-mailing lists at opt-out.cdt.org.

7. Newspapers, magazines, and white paper can all be recycled as long as the paper is clean and dry. Plastic wrap, stickers, or rubber bands should be removed, but staples and plastic window envelopes are OK.

8. Recycle worn-out rechargeable batteries like those used in cell phones, computers, or power tools. Go to www.rbrc.org to find a drop-off location in your area.

9. Divvy up recycling duties among family members and sort items on a daily basis.

10. Print out this list of commonly recycled materials. Post it where you recycle for easy access

10 + 1. And last but not least, make informed decisions about recycling de-construction waste when doing home renovation projects. For info on recycling shingles into roads check out Gemaco Environmental Solutions 

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