Over the past few years Sandpiper has endeavoured to increase our contribution to environmental reclamation. We are continually putting into practice procedures which would not only contribute to, but encourage others to renew, re-use and re-cycle.
- Common practice within our office is to turn off electronic equipment when not in use such as computers, copiers, heaters, and lights. The use of lights in the warehouse is often determined by how sunny the day is. The more sunshine the fewer lights get turned on.
- Sandpiper actively recycles many products from the office, the field and its employees. We encourage our employees to bring in those items not meant for neighbourhood blue boxes, such as batteries, computers and cell phones, and we dispose of them appropriately.
Listed below are many of the items that Sandpiper currently recycles:
- Office Products: Paper / cardboard / Ink Cartridges / Cell phones / Computer equipment / Aluminum cans
- Shop Products: Used Oil / Filters / Plastic buckets / Batteries / Pallets
- Field Products: IPEX PVC pipe / Copper pipe and fittings / Steel pipe and fittings / DI pipe and fittings / Asphalt / Concrete / Dunage
Our sustainable office procedures:
- Sandpiper performs regular maintenance on our fleet of vehicles and equipment keeping them running at peak performance thus reducing harmful air emissions as much as possible.
- Although we do not compost our lunchroom waste, as we have found it encourages mice and rats in our warehouse, we do ensure that cardboard products are separated and recycled.
- Although we do not currently have low-flow plumbing in our washrooms, we regularly monitor to ensure that all seals are good and no dripping or run-on occurs in our sinks and toilets.
- Our lunchroom is fully outfitted with re-usable dishes and cutlery.
- Sandpiper does not have any dispensing machines at all. In the industrial area where we are located, the water quality is not great. We have provided a water cooler so our employees do not feel the need to bring in bottled water.
- Not only are our offices using energy efficient lighting but we recently replaced all of our warehouse lights (42 lights) with low energy bulbs as well, taking advantage of BC Hydro’s rebate program.
Field procedures which promote re-use are as follows:
- When beginning a new project Sandpiper will either trench grind or complete a full road grinding of the existing asphalt and reuse that ground asphalt as trench backfill where permitted. If the municipality does not allow the reuse of the ground asphalt as trench backfill, our crews would separate the asphalt chunks and load the asphalt separate from the other materials. The loads of asphalt would then be hauled to an approved recycling dumpsite that will grind, remix and resell the recycled material.
- We also separate any concrete curb, sidewalks or existing concrete pipes and have them disposed of in dumpsite that will grind and recycle those materials. We try to have a concrete recycled road mulch material approved and used in our projects.
- Where projects call for import fill, Sandpiper will first evaluate the condition of the existing material and, if feasible, have that material tested for quality. If the testing shows that the existing material meets all specifications, Sandpiper will attempt to have the existing material approved for use in the new trenches. Cost savings would then be passed onto our clients. At Sandpiper we believe it is possible to recycle and re-use while maintaining efficiency and quality workmanship.
- When making purchasing decisions for the office and shop our purchasers make a concerted effort to obtain items made from recycled materials and/or take into account ingredient content avoiding products made from non-renewable resources. We recently started purchasing our oil in bulk and re-using our smaller plastic containers. All used oil and old plastic containers used to collect it are picked up regularly by M&R Environmental (604) 876-0506 for recycling as well.
- When making purchasing decisions for the job site, maintaining engineering specifications and employee safety, will always take priority. However, Sandpiper is always willing to work with clients and engineers to promote the use of alternative products, recycle where possible and strive to reduce waste. Field procedures have been established to achieve that end.